A Riverside, California, man was arrested after video surveillance caught him trying to lure a six-year-old girl into a men’s bathroom, according to ABC 7.
The incident, which took place on February 14 at a local supermarket, was caught on surveillance camera. The suspect reportedly offered the little girl a “treat” in order to entice her, but she did not take the bait.
“I think that’s excellent parenting skills that she was shown that not to go with any strangers and to get an adult,” local resident Cynthia Aguayo told ABC 7.
Riverside police shared the video in order to help identify the suspect — and their strategy was successful.
An employee at a Planet Fitness gym saw the video and recognized the man as Theodore Childers, 78, who is a member of the gym. On the employee’s tip, police were able to apprehended Childers at the gym and arrest him.
According to ABC 7, it appears that additional tips came in from people who had seen the video on social media.
“Anytime you have someone trying to commit or attempt to commit a crime against any of our young people or kids, it’s really disheartening and disturbing,” Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback told the news station.
Childers will likely face only a misdemeanor charge of child annoyance, but authorities are reportedly looking into the possibility that he has committed similar crimes in the past.
Photo: Riverside Police Department