Police are searching for a man accused of possibly trying to lure a young girl into his car by stealing her cellphone as she shopped with her mother at a Walmart store in Oceanside.
The strange incident happened two months ago – on Sept. 6. The Oceanside Police Department (OPD) released surveillance images and details for the first time Wednesday.
Surveillance cameras inside the store captured the suspect following the mother and daughter around a Walmart located at 705 College Blvd. At one point, without the victims seeing him, he took the girl's cellphone from their shopping cart.
The mom and girl reported the lost cellphone to store security. Shortly after that, the suspect struck up a conversation with the girl, telling her he had her phone in his car.
OPD investigators believe the man was using the promise of the phone to possibly lure the girl away.
The girl did not go with the suspect and was unharmed. The man fled in a white hatchback – possibly a Hyundai Elantra GT – before police arrived. At this point, his identity is unknown.
Anyone who recognizes the man in the photos released by police can reach out to OPD Det. Ron Navares at (760) 435-4749.
The investigation is ongoing.