Phoenixville Police Chief John Kalavik said some of the prevention begins at home.

"It all starts with parental training," Kalavik said. "Parents need to keep a closer eye on their children. Unfortunately, we live in an age where there are a lot of sick people. Children need to be taught the basic information about strangers and how they behave. That includes understanding what children believe about strangers and how that makes them vulnerable."

In Florida, a video camera at a car wash filmed footage of an 11-year-old girl being lured away, allegedly by a mechanic, who was subsequently charged with her murder.

Lt. William Mossman said sometimes children have a distorted sense of who and what strangers are.

"Through television and movies, children are led to believe that the world is divided into two types of people - good guys and bad guys," Mossman said. "They've been taught that the ones they need to worry about and watch for are the bad guys. Children need to know about strangers, and not any one type of stranger. A stranger is anyone a child doesn't know. You can't tell the good guys from the bad guys by how they look."

Noting a recent incident where a homeless man allegedly assaulted a child in a Philadelphia library, Paul Giovanetti, children's librarian, Phoenixville Library, said children under eight years of age are to be with a parent or guardian at all times.

"That is one of our guidelines here at the library - and that's for both upstairs and downstairs," said Giovanetti. "Children don't come upstairs to use the main library too often. They prefer to be downstairs in the children's library."

Giovanetti said there are at least two staff members at all times in the children's library. He further stated that the library is looking into installing a security system, with several cameras, throughout the building.

Kalavik offered this advice for parents and guardians to teach their children.

"Children, when approached by a stranger or someone they aren't comfortable with, should stay an arm's reach away," he said. "They should back up and run to someone who can help them if they are afraid. They need to travel in groups, or when alone, don't talk to any strangers, don't take anything from strangers, and don't get into a car with a stranger."

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