DEAR ABBY: After reading the letter from "Concerned in Northbrook," where the 14-year-old niece was instructed to stay home alone and let the tile man in, I feel compelled to share my story.
My former husband, "Steve," seemed attractive, gentle and polite. While working as an installer for a nationwide security company, he lured a 14-year-old girl into his van and sexually assaulted her. Her parents' determination to shield their daughter enabled Steve to plea-bargain a prison sentence of only eight months. After his release, Steve returned to work as an installer for a satellite TV company and currently works for another security company, installing systems in homes.
Although he is a registered sex offender, no one would ever guess Steve is a pedophile. His parole officer told me that he shouldn't be around children. Can you imagine leaving your 14-year-old daughter home alone to let in my charming former husband? -- ALSO CONCERNED IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
DEAR ALSO CONCERNED: Your warning is chilling. Parents, please take note and take nothing for granted. Better to be overly cautious than not cautious enough.