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Pervert exposes himself to girl leaving school

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POSTED October 22, 2013 11:17 p.m.

Another Lathrop Elementary School student has been victimized by an adult exposing their genitals while walking home from school.

According to Lathrop Police Services, a 10-year-old female was walking along the 700 block of J Street on Monday morning when an early 2000s model red Ford Explorer or Expedition drove by. The car made three passes before it stopped next to the girl, and at that time the driver – described as a heavyset white male, approximately 50-years-old with a black/gray goatee and wearing grey sweatpants – leaned back and exposed himself.

He then drove away, and was last seen turning in the area of Gardner Court. The victim, who ended up hiding between two cars so the suspect wouldn’t see her, went home and didn’t tell anybody until her father came home from work.

“We’ve contacted the parents and the schools and they’ve done their part to contact the parents of all of the kids in that area,” said San Joaquin County Sherriff’s Department spokesman Les Garcia. “Basically we need the public’s help in finding and identifying this individual.”

This isn’t the first time that somebody has sought out students walking to or from Lathrop Elementary for the purposes of exposing themselves from behind the wheel of their car.

Back in September of last year an Asian male sitting in a gray, compact four-door sedan was the second person that month to expose himself. The first came when a student in an after-school program allegedly ran into a man in the bathroom on the Lathrop Elementary School campus. The incident created a firestorm of controversy among parents who cried for tighter security and enhanced police presence when students were on campus.

No arrests have been made in either case. Garcia said that there’s no reason to believe that the incident on Monday morning was in any way linked with what happened before.

The department and the district – particularly the administration on campus – have a tight working relationship, Garcia said, that is enhanced by the presence of a School Resource Officer that makes herself visible.

Technology that the school employs makes it easier to get the word out to parents quickly when something like what transpired Monday morning.

“Lathrop Police Services works hand-in-hand with the schools in a situation like this though our SRO and a parent notification system when needed,” Garcia said. “We have that capability, but the school has the roster of all of the parents and they can be notified efficiently and that’s important in a situation like that.”

And Lathrop isn’t the only city that has had to deal with the issue of adults targeting children for the indecent exposure crime lately.

In August Manteca was hit with what appeared to be four completely different individuals at four different locations that targeted children over the course of five days. No arrests have been made, and no information about the identities of the culprits has been received.  Ripon has had similar problems.

Garcia said that Lathrop Police will step up their presence both before and after school around Lathrop Elementary and other schools in the community in an attempt to thwart any future attacks.

Anybody with any information is encouraged to call the San Joaquin County Sherriff’s Department at 468-4400 or anonymously “text-a-tip” by sending a message to 274637 (the numbers spell CRIMES), entering SJSO followed by a space, and the crime tip.

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