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Police Credit Social Media with Child Predator Arrest

A still image from the video was distributed on various social media sites, where police asked for the public's help in identifying the man.

San Mateo police announced Thursday that the use of social media was crucial in catching a 41-year-old man suspected of trying to solicit at least one teenage girl for sex last month.

Around 8:15 a.m. on Feb. 18, a 15-year-old San Mateo girl was standing on the sidewalk in the first block of North Claremont Street when the suspect, identified Thursday as Roberto "Guadalupe" Micalax, approached her from behind and spoke to her in Spanish, San Mateo police Sgt. Dave Norris said.

The teen told police the man tried to solicit her for sex, he  said.

"The victim refused the request, and was able to leave the area," police said at the time.

She called police, who arrived a short time later.  They searched the area, but could not locate the man.

However, they were able to obtain some images of the suspect via a nearby store's surveillance camera, according to a police alert. 

A still image from the video was distributed on various social media sites, where police asked for the public's help in identifying the man. Two additional victims, both 12-year-old San Mateo girls, saw the picture on Facebook and recognized the man as someone who had made inappropriate contact with them as well, police said.

The girls contacted police, and investigators were able to identify the suspect as Micalax.   Then, he apparently went to them.

"Micalax contacted an SMPD Officer on Wednesday afternoon March 5th, knowing that he was wanted for questioning on this case," a police alert announcing his arrest said.  "Micalax was arrested, and ultimately transported to San Mateo County Jail on Charges of Child Annoyance, Solicitation for Sex in Public, and Assault with the Intent to Commit a Sex Crime."


– Bay City News Service contributed to this report. 
RM March 08, 2014 at 11:34 AM
Adios, muchacho!

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