LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has made an arrest related to a string of attempted kidnappings in Aliso Viejo and Laguna Hills this month.
Christopher Lopez, 30, of Aliso Viejo, was taken into custody at approximately noon Wednesday. He was booked at O.C. Jail on misdemeanor child molestation or annoyance at the time of this report.READ MORE: DEA Agents Going Online In Effort To Catch Drug Dealers, Distributors
Lopez’s arrest follows one day after OCSD officials announced an investigation into a possible link between four attempted kidnappings in the Aliso Viejo and Laguna Hills areas and the Aliso Creek Hiking Trail that connects the cities.
In the first incident, authorities say a 12-year-old female reported an unknown white male touched her as she was walking to school near Windsong and Aliso Creek Road in the city of Aliso Viejo at approximately 9 a.m. September 12. The suspect was described as a white male in his early 30s, with blond hair, wearing sunglasses and dressed in black.READ MORE: Report: Orange County Hate Crimes Against Asian-Americans Up 1,200%
Then, on September 17, at approximately 4 p.m., another reported incident occurred, this time along the Aliso Creek Hiking Trail. The 16-year-old female reported she was walking home from school when she was touched by a male suspect. The victim described the man as Hispanic, between 30-40 years old, 5’6″, 140 pounds and short black hair.
On September 18, 2019, at approximately 6:30 p.m., an attempted kidnapping of an 11-year-old female occurred while she was walking her dog along the Aliso Creek Trail in Laguna Hills near Via Lomas and Sheep Hills Park. Authorities say the suspect grabbed the victim and began to drag her toward the bushes. The victim screamed and the suspect released her and ran off. The victim described the suspect as a male Hispanic with short dark hair wearing a red Angels sweatshirt, blue jeans and black shoes.
The fourth incident, an attempted kidnapping of a 28-year-old female, occurred at approximately 8:45 a.m. Tuesday along the Aliso Creek Hiking Trail near Sheep Hills Park near the underpass of Moulton Parkway, according to a statement from authorities.
The victim, who was walking on the trail, reported hearing someone jogging behind her, and was then grabbed by the suspect by the elbow and pulled her toward him from behind. Authorities say the victim was able to head-butt the suspect, who released her and ran off. The victim described the suspect as a male Caucasian with medium length dark brown hair, approximately 5’10”, wearing a black sweatshirt with a large colored logo on the back and jeans with a rip near the seat.MORE NEWS: OC Receives More Than 83,000 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses In Single Day
The investigation is ongoing and members of the Task Force continue to follow up on tips and leads as they are received. Authorities urge the public to maintain vigilance and personal safety measures. If you have any information to assist, please contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 714-647-7000 or O.C. Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS or occrimestoppers.org.