Illinois law makes it a class 4 felony - punishable by up to three years in prison - to even attempt to lure a child under the age of 16 into a vehicle or building without the consent of the child's parent or guardian. In an unprecedented analysis, the Tribune identified Chicago police reports on at least 407 allegations of attempted child abduction by a stranger between March 2008 and this September.
Police typically never collared a suspect. Even when they did, they sometimes didn't present the case to prosecutors for felony review. And occasionally, prosecutors overruled the detectives and declined to press charges. The attempts by strangers are scattered throughout the city, but the arrest rates were lower in census tracts that held more families living in poverty, more single-parent households and higher crime rates, a Tribune analysis found. This concentration of disadvantages correlates closely with race in Chicago.