Quick-thinking 11-year-old girl avoids a kidnapping with family’s ‘code word’ – draws praise from police

A 10-year-old girl from Arizona outsmarted a pervert who tried to lure her into his car on Wednesday, police said.

The girl was walking with her friend in a park in San Tan Valley when a man in a white SUV pulled up next to them and told them to get in the car, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office told ABC 15.

The man told the 10-year-old that her brother was in a bad accident and that she needed to go with him. That’s when she asked him for the “code word” — a safety tool her mom, Brenda James, devised a few months ago should a stranger ever approach her daughter.

That spooked the man.

“The guy covered his face, panicked, and took off,” Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb told NBC News.

“We came up with a code word, and this one time, it saved my daughter’s life,” James told Fox 10.

James said her daughter called her in tears on Wednesday to tell her that a man tried to take her away.

Other children at the park reported seeing the white SUV in the area “circling the park several times a day,” according to a Facebook post from the sheriff’s office.

Lamb asked the mother to speak about the incident at a press conference in hopes that other parents would take note and devise similar plans with their kids.

“Kudos to the parents of this child for having a code word and talking about to their children about stranger danger,” Lamb said. “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.”

Watch as mom speaks out about the horrifying story:

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