What You Need to Know About Abduction. Earlier this month an Amber Alert was issued in relation to a car theft. A Toronto man left his car running at the entrance of a flea market with the keys in the ignition. He also left his three-month-old son in the car. An opportunistic thief took the vehicle with the baby inside. The child’s father observed the incident and tried to chase after the car on foot, but was too late. Fortunately, the car was recovered four hours later with the child safe inside. No charges have been laid against the boy’s father and the suspect involved with the theft remains at large.
An Amber Alert is a province-wide notice system that operates as a joint effort between media outlets and the Ontario Provincial Police. It is used to alert the public of a child abduction, and is named in memory of Amber Hagerman, a Texas girl who was abducted and murdered by a stranger.
What does the Criminal Code say about abduction?
The Criminal Code has extensive sections on different types of abductions. Needless to say, kidnapping and related crimes are very serious in nature. Section 279 states that kidnapping an individual, that is, holding them against their will, can result in a sentence of life imprisonment. Interestingly, abduction of a child under 14 years of age by someone other than the parents, with the intent of depriving the parents of access to the child, carries a maximum punishment of only 10 years in prison. One of the main differences between kidnapping and abduction is that kidnapping may involve the kidnapper gaining a profit from their act, while abductors do not generally act with a view to a profit.