A 41-year-old registered sex offender from Fresno has been arrested by Santa Barbara County sheriff’s detectives on suspicion of attempting to lure a teenage boy into his van in the Santa Ynez area earlier this month.
Authorities traveled to Fresno on Tuesday to take Reynaldo Victoriano Alonzo into custody after an investigation suggested he had tried to entice a 14-year-old boy to get into his van on August 3, sheriff’s officials said. The suspect allegedly approached the teenager in front of a grocery store in the 1000 block of Edison Street, Sheriff’s Spokesman Drew Sugars said.
“The victim, having been trained how to deal with similar situations by his parents, was able to walk away from the suspect,” he said in a news release.
Detectives learned that a man matching the description of the suspect had been spotted in the Chumash Casino Resort and were able to identify Alonzo as a potential suspect while working with casino security.
Authorities tracked down the 41-year-old in Fresno and booked him into the Santa Maria Jail on suspicion of annoying or molesting children.
Alonzo, who has a Fresno address listed in a state database of sex offenders, had been previously convicted of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old, according to the database. If convicted again, he faces between two to six years in prison, according to the California penal code.
Sugars said the case would be submitted to the District Attorney’s Office to determine whether criminal charges will be filed following further investigation.