Happy ending to child-abduction scare

POULSBO — A child who ran away from his parents at Walmart sparked a child-abduction scare Friday morning, with officers from at least four law enforcement agencies responding.

A delivery truck driver saw what he believed to be two people forcing a child into a car in the parking lot outside Jack in the Box at College Marketplace. Suspecting a child abduction, he wrote down the license plate number and called 9-1-1.

Officers from Poulsbo Police, Suquamish Police and Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department went to the area. Bremerton police became involved when a check of the license plate turned up a Bremerton address. Bremerton police went to the home.

“To make a long story short, the parents were inside Walmart when their child got upset and ran away,” Poulsbo Police Chief Dennis Swiney said. “They found him and had to help him get into the vehicle.” Swiney said he didn’t know the child’s age, but estimated it at 7 or 8.

After talking to Bremerton police, the parents returned to Walmart and explained what happened to authorities, Swiney said. And just in time: Deputy Police Chief Wendy Davis said police were “minutes away” from issuing an AMBER Alert, or child abduction alert bulletin.

Swiney said the delivery truck driver did the right thing in writing down the license plate and calling 9-1-1. The license plate information enabled police to resolve the matter quickly.

“He did the right thing. He was a good witness and provided good vehicle information,” Swiney said. “The license plate number was the saving grace.”

Swiney said officers responded to the call “anticipating the worst but  hoping for the best.”


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