COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The recent abductions of two young girls in East Columbus have become very real for local parents.
Tonight, residents at Greystone Properties met with Kyle Bair, the director of the local Sexual Assault Support Center, for tips on how to keep their kids safe.
The message parents walked away with: "Don't be scared. Be prepared."
"Teach them not to accept gifts, rides, money, all of those things. People will use those to bribe children, even if it's just to lore them closer to the car. People that want to abduct or kidnap or harm are going to look for an easy target," Bair said.
These sex crimes involving children have also hit home with city officials. Columbus Mayor Jim Wetherington and Police Chief Ricky Boren have beefed up patrols in East Columbus, especially around the schools.
"I think Chief Boren and the officers of the Columbus Police Department are working very hard to clear this other case. We have one case cleared and I've given Chief Boren 80 additional officers. We're going to reach 100 in a short period of time. We hope you're going to start to see a reduction in crime," the Mayor said.
In the meantime, investigators continue tracking the man suspected of abducting and sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl less than a week ago. And the two young victims continue to recover.