COVINA >> Deputies have cautioned the public about a suspicious encounter between a man and two 10-year-old girls at Charter Oak Park near Covina on Tuesday.
The girls were playing about 6:45 p.m. in a fenced-in area of the park, 20261 E. Covina Blvd., in an unincorporated county area, when a man approached in a newer-model, silver, four-door sedan with tinted windows and chrome door handles, Alhambra police officials said in a written statement.
“An adult male drove by on the adjacent street and yelled several times for them to, ‘get in the car,” according to the statement. “The vehicle then circled the area once prior to driving away.” The girls immediately reported the incident to adults, who contacted the sheriff’s department.
Deputies were looking into the possibility the suspicious encounter was related to another report of lewd behavior in public received about 20 minutes before the incident at Charter Oak Park,” the statement said. “The sole occupant of the vehicle was engaged in lewd activity not involving children. No other related incidents have been reported to San Dimas Station.”
Officials described the driver of the car as a white man between 30 and 40 years old, with shoulder-length brown hair.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s San Dimas Station at 909-450-2700. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
EL MONTE >> Police are seeking an unidentified child predator who they say has been lurking near El Monte elementary schools, offering rides and sexually propositioning young girls, officials said.
Police distributed sketches of the man and his car Friday in hopes of generating clues form the public.
Two incidents were reported Wednesday morning and Wednesday afternoon near Parkview Elementary School and Gidley Elementary School, respectively, El monte police Lt. Christopher Cano said in a written statement.
The predator was last seen about 3 p.m. Wednesday, about a mile south of Gidley Elementary School, at Valley Boulevard and Arden Drive, police said.
“The female student was walking home from school when the suspect drove his vehicle alongside her and sexually propositioned her,” Cano said. “The suspect continued to follow the victim as she continued walking. (The) suspect then stopped, exited his vehicle and approached the victim.
The frightened girl ran away, and the man returned to his car and drove off.
Another girl reported a previous suspicious encounter with the same man about 7 a.m. as she was walking in 12000 block of Elliot Avenue, directly in front of Parkview Elementary, Cano said.
“The suspect offered juvenile a ride, which she refused,” he said. “The suspect drove away but returned a few minutes later and again offered the same juvenile a ride. The child became fearful and ran on foot to Parkview Elementary School where in she notified school staff.”
Police described the man they’re seeking as Latino, 25 to 29 years old, 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall and of medium build. He had black hair, dark eyes and a light complexion.
He drove a tan, four-door Honda or Toyota sedan, described as “dirty” and unkempt, with tinted windows. The car had numerous stickers on the rear windshield.
“(The) suspect may be living out of (the) vehicle,” Cano said.
Officers are working with local schools and providing them with extra patrols, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact El Monte police at 580-2114. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
Sketches courtesy of the El Monte Police Department
COVINA >> Police jailed an out-of-compliance sex offender after he tried to lure a 4-year-old girl into the men’s bathroom at a Covina park Friday, authorities said.
Matthew James Smith, a 49-year-old transient, was booked on suspicion of child annoyance and failing to register as a sex offender following his arrest shortly after 11 a.m. at Covina City Park, 301 N. Fourth Ave., Covina police Sgt. gregg Peterson said in a written statement.
Police responded to the park after receiving a report, “that an adult male had attempted to lure a 4-year-old female
into the men’s public restroom at the park,” Peterson said.
The child’s mother prevented her daughter from going with the man, he said. She did not confront him directly, but kept an eye on him as she called police and explained what had happened.
Officers found Smith still in the park and detained him.
“Initially the suspect denied having any contact with the victim, however, he was positively identified and placed under citizen’s arrest for child annoyance,” the sergeant said.
Police soon also discovered that Smith was a registered sex offender who had failed to register, he said.
Further details regarding Smith’s prior criminal history were not available late Friday.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Covina police detectives at 626-384-5628. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
MONTEBELLO >> Tips from the public helped police arrest a man sought following suspicious encounters with girls in Montebello in recent days.
Officers arrested Jose Ismael Amaya, 67, of Montebello about 10:50 a.m. Friday in the area of Telegraph Road and Greenwood Avenue, Montebello police officials said.
Police released a suspect photo taken from a surveillance camera Wednesday after two girls reported a man had behaved inappropriately with them.
A 16-year-old girl told police he had kissed her on the cheek and otherwise harassed her at a bus stop, police said in a written statement. And a 12-year-old girl reported he had tried to offer her money at a convenience store.
Detectives identified Amaya as the man pictured in the surveillance photo Thursday, officials said.
“Investigators also located a third victim, age 11, who also alleged being annoyed by the same suspect,” according to the statement.
A tipster called police Friday morning after spotting a man resembling the man in the surveillance photo after seeing the image in the news, officials said.”
Officers arrested Amaya on suspicion of child annoyance, as well as other unrelated charges, police added.
Police thanked the public for its help.
“Throughout this investigation, social media as well as the various news outlets have been instrumental in bringing this case to a rapid conclusion,” according to the police statement.
Amaya was expected to remain in custody pending his initial court appearance.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Montebello Police Department.
MONTEBELLO >> Police are seeking a man who harassed two girls in two separate incidents in Montebello Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
The first suspicious encounter took place about 1 p.m. at a bus stop at Whittier and Montebello boulevards, Montebello police officials said in a written statement. A man in his 50s approached a teenage girl.
“The unknown suspect kissed a 16-year-old girl on the cheek and further annoyed her as she waited for the bus,” the statement said. The frightened teen got onto a bus to get away from the man.
A second incident was reported about 3:30 p.m. at a liquor store just over a mile away at Whittier Boulevard and 3rd Street, police said.
“The same suspect spoke with a 12-year-old victim and offered her money,” according to the statement. “The victim became scared and ran from the location to her home and reported the incident to her mother.”
Investigators released a surveillance camera image of the suspect retrieved from the liquor store in hopes of generating leads from the public.
He’s described as a Latino man in his 50s, wearing a red soccer jersey, beige pants and a black backpack or shoulder bag. He also had dark hair and wore black framed glasses.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Montebello police Detective Valle at 323-887-1200, ext. 255, or email email@example.com.
PHOTO courtesy of the Montebello Police Department.
ALHAMBRA >> Police arrested a man Wednesday after he allegedly tried to take photos of a 10-year-old girl as she changed clothing in the changing room of an Alhambra department store.
Fu Sheng Situ, 22, of Los Angeles, was booked on suspicion of child annoyance, Alhambra police Lt. Gary LaGuard said.
The incident took place Wednesday afternoon at Kohl’s, 1201 S Fremont Ave., Alhambra police officials said in a written statement.
“A male subject entered the women’s changing room at Kohl’s department store this afternoon and tried to use his cell phone to take pictures of a 10-year-old girl trying on clothes,” according to the police statement.
Police responded to the store and detained Situ without a struggle, LaGuard said.
Detectives were looking into whether the suspect had victimized others, police said.
Situ was expected to be released from custody with a misdemeanor citation, LaGuard said.
According to county booking records, Situ was scheduled to appear for arraignment Oct. 6 in Alhambra Superior Court. Police reminded residents to, “Be sure to always keep an eye on your kids and be aware of their surroundings, especially at public restrooms and changing rooms.”
Anyone with information can reach Alhambra police at 626-570-5151.