Infant Abduction Prevention, Part 2

What hospital security administrators need to know about the MO of infant abductors

[In our first part of this 3-part series, Jeff Aldridge and Pamela wells examined the phenomenom of infant abductions from hospitals and why abductors engage in these crimes. In this installment, they look at the common MO of infant abductors who strike hospitals. The profile is based on a number of cases in which they have testified or or been consulted.]

Abductor's "Modus Operandi"

The abductor's "Modus Operandi" or "Method of Operation" (MO) is driven by their psychological make-up. Every abductor's thought, plan, and action is dictated by her insatiable desire to steal a child at any cost. She is highly committed to the fact that at the end of her elaborate plan she will successfully obtain a baby and will raise the child as her own.

Join Jeff Aldridge, CPP, and Bryan Koontz, director of safety and security for High Point Regional Health System, for our free webinar: Securing America's Hospitals, on Aug. 8, 2007 at 1 p.m. Register today.

From the time we are born until the time we die we are taught to respect persons of authority and follow their orders. You know the ones: policemen, firemen, doctors, and nurses. When we were children growing up we were taught to do exactly what the doctor or nurse told us to do. In addition, we also learned to recognize symbols of authority by the uniforms they wore. Even today, when we are admitted to the hospital, we revert back to our childhood. The hospital becomes our parent figure and once again we become subservient to authority. Why is that? Well, as a patient, the nurse tells us when to go to the bathroom, when to eat, when to sleep, and when to take our medicine. And the typical abductor knows, that when she dresses in a nurses' uniform, and wears a stethoscope, or some other item of authority, that she may have stolen, the mother will immediately turn her baby over to the kidnapper without question. How is this possible you ask? The reason is quite simple. All of our lives, we have been conditioned to do just that. This is exactly why the typical infant abductor picks the mother as the number one target.

Furthermore, it is important to know that the mother's room affords the abductor an excellent opportunity to be alone with the mother and her baby. It is easier for her to perpetrate her ruse in privacy, especially out of sight of suspicious eyes and ears. It only takes a brief moment for her to convince the mother she is legitimate. Upon leaving the mother's room, the kidnapper can close the door and leave the hospital property well before anyone discovers that a baby has been kidnapped. In order for the abductor to be successful, she has to have uninterrupted time and privacy to practice her deception. She knows she is less likely to be interrupted by a hospital employee in a mother's room with the door closed than a location where people are coming and going. And more importantly, inside the mother's room, the kidnapper has the mother's undivided attention.

Let's go back into the kidnapper's state-of-mind for a minute. Remember, she is first and foremost a criminal. And what is the first thing a criminal does not want to happen? You've got it...get caught. So even though the abductor is adept at perpetrating an elaborate con, her most favorable situation is to find a baby that has been left unattended. If that is the case, then all the abductor has to do is snatch the baby and run. Most of the time she does not have to run very far because there is always an unlocked emergency door close by to provide the much-needed quick escape for this remorseless stealer of children.

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