PINAL COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A young child was saved from a possible abduction thanks to the use of a code word, authorities said.
The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said the incident happened Wednesday, Nov. 7 in the North Pecan Creek neighborhood near Gantzel and Ocotillo Roads.
The 11-year-old girl was walking with a friend when a man drove up and said her brothers were in an accident and she needed to go with him.
The PCSO said the girl asked the man for the "code word." The man did not respond and drove off.
“Kudos to the parents of this child for having a code word and talking about to their children about stranger danger,” said Sheriff Mark Lamb. “We hope by putting this out, it will encourage parents to have that conversation and create a plan with their children, so they know what to do if they are in that situation.”
The PCSO said children in the neighborhood said they have seen the white SUV in the neighborhood, circling the park several times a day.
The man covered most of his face with his hand while talking to the girl to conceal any identifying features.
He has described as a white male, possibly in his 40s, with a short beard.
Anyone with information is asked to call the PCSO at 520-866-5111.