The kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart in Utah has gripped the nation. She's the 14-year-old girl taken from her bedroom in the middle of the night. It's every parent's worst nightmare.
Local police say kidnappings like this are not that common.
Some of the Valley's bigger cities average a total of eight kidnappings, abductions or attempted abductions each year.
Only a few of the cases involve children. Police say most of the crimes are domestic and don't involve strangers.
But if the worst were to happen, the faster you call the police the better.
“We are gonna be contacting everyone we know. We’re gonna be putting BOL’s throughout the state, the region, or vehicle descriptions, suspect descriptions, child descriptions. Those are things we can get out in a matter or minutes," says Harrisonburg police Sgt. Kevin Lanoue. Police say prevention is the key.
Lock your doors and windows. Teach your kids their home number and about 911.
And if someone looks out of place in your neighborhood, call the police.