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Mom Says Someone Tried To Make A Target Of Little Girl At Target

One mom in Oklahoma says she had a close call at a local Target store. While she was shopping with her young daughter, she believes someone in the store was stalking her with sinister motives. She believes human traffickers had targeted her child, and she says the experience has reminded her to stay more alert. Police sympathize with her fear but say it's not very likely.

Amanda Kalidy believes that a child snatcher was trying to use another child to lure her 4-year-old daughter away. She was in the Edmond store when a little girl kept coming over to them.

"There was this little girl that was following us, and she kept asking my daughter for candy. I was asking her where her mother was," said Kalidy.

The little girl wouldn't answer that question. Then she noticed a 'strange' man hovering nearby. She started keeping an eye on him, and she believes that man was instructing the little girl. When Kalidy notified the manager, the man scooped up the little girl he was with and quickly left the store.

"The manager of the store was telling me what they do is, they target places like Target," wrote Kalidy in a Facebook post about the incident. She warned everyone to watch their kids.

Michael Snowden with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Human Trafficking Division says he understands the mother's fear, but she may have misread the situation. Human trafficking is definitely a problem in Oklahoma, but there are almost zero reports of little kids being snatched in stores for trafficking purposes.

"We don't generally see people snatching children from their parents or women being abducted from a retail store of some sort. Human trafficking is much more subtle than that," Snowden said.

Human traffickers generally don't want children whose pictures are plastered on the news with half the country searching for them. They want to meet children in unhappy homes, and to coax them away unnoticed.

"These girls are recruited. They're promised the world and love and those things that are maybe lacking in their lives," Snowden said, noting that it is more likely the man at Target was trying to distract the mom so he could steal something from her.

"We would never belittle someone's fear, OK? But diversion is really a frequent tactic when I'm trying to steal your purse, get your car keys," Snowden said.

Kalidy says she's not going to take any chances. She tells KFOR, "It's very scary, and you have to stay alert."

Other parents say they’re not taking any chances, either. Another mom in California believes one of her children were targeted at an IKEA. As her kids 'tested' out some of the sofas, a middle-aged man kept circling in closer and closer.

“This was someone who was clearly watching and following me and my children,” Diandra Toyos told CBS News. “I know to some a ‘gut feeling’ doesn’t mean anything, but that coupled with what we actually saw occurring was very unsettling.”

Another younger man, who appeared to be with the older man, also began circling closer, watching the children. When the family decided to sit down on a sofa and 'take a break' from shopping, the two men sat on a sofa across from them for 30 minutes, and seemed to be watching and waiting. They finally left when Toyos went to security.

Source: Fox 6 Now, SF Globe
Photo: Fox 6 Now, Facebook

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