Investigation continuing after man attempts to lure Menifee boy into truck
MENIFEE, Calif. — Authorities say a man is suspected of attempting to lure a boy into his pickup truck near Paloma Valley High School Monday morning, May 17. According to Menifee Police Department, school employees who observed the suspicious interaction intervened, causing the suspect to flee from the area in his vehicle.
Officials say that although the man is currently in custody on charges unrelated to last Monday’s child annoyance investigation, he has not yet been arrested or charged in their ongoing investigation. Officials have also said they are searching for the man’s pickup truck that he was captured on school surveillance video driving when he attempted to lure the child into his truck.
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Menifee police officers were alerted to the incident around 7:50 a.m. when school officials called 911 to report what had happened, Menifee Police Captain Dave Gutierrez reported this morning.
During their subsequent investigation, officers learned a male juvenile was riding his bicycle southbound on Bradley Road near the high school, when an adult male subject in a white pick-up truck contacted him.
Officials say a man in a white pickup truck with a camper shell attempted to lure a boy into his vehicle, trying to convince him to get into his truck “to read a book,” Menifee PD officials have since said of their ongoing investigation. Menifee PD photos
The man, whose identity has been withheld by Menifee PD due to their ongoing investigation, “tried to convince the juvenile to get into his truck to read him a book,” Gutierrez explained; while not saying if the victim attended the high school where the suspicious incident occurred.
“The juvenile did not get into the truck, and a nearby school employee observed the suspicious interaction and intervened, causing the suspect to drive away southbound on Bradley Road,” the Captain continued.
The suspect was described as a white male adult, around 30-40 years old, with a scruffy beard and an unkept appearance.
The vehicle was described as an early 2000’s white Toyota Tacoma, single cab truck with a camper shell. The truck may also have a front skid plate and flared front fenders.
As their investigation continued, on Tuesday, May 18, Menifee PD detectives received an anonymous tip about a potential person of interest.
When detectives followed up on the tip they discovered the man was arrested Monday night, May 17, for an offense not associated with the child annoyance investigation, according to Gutierrez; who said, “At this time, we are not releasing the name of the person of interest due to the ongoing investigation.”
The suspect remains incarcerated, according to Gutierrez; who said the man’s truck has not been located and that officials are still searching for the vehicle.
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“The Menifee Police Department wants to assure parents that the safety of the children in our community is paramount,” Gutierrez has since said. “We are working closely with the Menifee Union School District to ensure an increased patrol presence around our schools, but do not believe there is any specific threat to students.”
Menifee PD has shared and emphasized the following safety tips:
- Walk with others and use the buddy system. There is security in numbers.
- If someone should stop and ask for help or directions, do not go near the vehicle.
- Stay outside of arm’s length from strangers.
- If someone is following you on foot or in a vehicle, go to a place where other people are present.
- Never go anywhere with someone you don’t know.
- Never take anything from strangers.
- If a stranger grabs you, do whatever it takes to stop the stranger, and yell for help.
- Be alert of your surroundings and let others know where you will be and what time you will return.
- Report any suspicious activity to a trusted adult.
- If you access to a phone, dial “911” to report any suspicious activity, or report it immediately to a trusted adult.
“The Menifee Police Department encourages the community to remain vigilant,” said Gutierrez; adding, “If you see something, say something.”
Anyone with information regarding this ongoing investigation or who knows the whereabouts of the suspect’s white pickup truck is encouraged to contact Menifee PD Detective Urich at 951-723-1542 or at [email protected]
Contact the writer: [email protected]
Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).
Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.
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