CAPE CORAL, Fla. – Two men approached a father and daughter in a Cape Coral parking lot in what the family said was an attempt to kidnap their 4-year-old child.
Charlotte Moore and her father stopped at the Walmart on Del Prado Boulevard Tuesday morning to do some shopping. It’s when they came out of the store that they were confronted by the two men who quickly approached their vehicle.
“Every fiber of my being I believe they were trying to kidnap her,” said Charlotte’s mother Kelley Moore.
That’s why she’s hugging her daughter extra tight after hearing what happened with her husband, a local emergency responder who didn’t want to give up his identity to protect his job.
Moore said her husband noticed something stuck out when they got to the Walmart.
“He noticed two guys walking around the parking lot, looking in cars,” she said.
He double checked to make sure his SUV was locked and went about his day. It’s when they came out of the store that the father and daughter ran into the two guys again, this time as Charlotte was getting in the car.
“I was just looking at my buckles and buckling up,” Charlotte said.
Out of the corner of his eye, her father saw one of the men walking up to him. And over his shoulder, the other man coming from the other direction, boxing him in
“He told him to ‘Back up and get away,'” Kelley said.
The guy didn’t listen and his accomplice didn’t either.
“The man on the right side of him was coming so close that with his shoulder he pushed him out of the way and nudged him to back up,” Kelley said.
All of this happened while Charlotte was inside the car. Her father locked her inside using his keys.
“I just buckled up and I didn’t even notice,” Charlotte said.
They drove home, but not before calling Cape Coral Police. Kelley didn’t know what happened until she saw her husband walk in the door.
“He was visibly shaken,” she said. “I’m afraid they were trying to take her. You hear about stories like this all the time but you don’t realize how close to home they can be.”
The Cape Coral Police Department (CCPD) did send officers to the store, said the family. However, officers were limited on what they could do because a crime wasn’t committed.
“Without an actual crime, there’s nothing more that can be done,” Kelley said.
What she is able to do is share her story to everyone that’s willing to listen, embedding their now new way of going out.
“Watch out. Keep an eye out. Be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention,” Kelley said.
Plus, have that conversation with your kiddo, she says, signifying that “Stranger Danger” is real.
Charlotte has some advice for any kids that might be in her shoes and have a stranger walk up to them.
“Run away,” she said.