Motorist warned in stalking incidents

Paso Robles police have located a man who reportedly attempted to lure young women into his truck.

A tip from a local resident led police to contact the man after authorities had received six separate complaints alleging he had parked his truck on various city streets with the hood lifted, mimicking someone with vehicle troubles, in an attempt to draw women toward him.

Police are not releasing his name because he is not the subject of any criminal investigation, said Lt. Ty Lewis. The man is in his 70s and lives outside the city limits.

“There’s been no reports of assaults or inappropriate behavior that would rise to criminal action,” Lewis said.

Police notified the public Tuesday they were searching for the man and released information about several of the incidents.

According to police, a 15-year-old girl walking home alone from school March 4 told them an adult male followed her to her neighborhood in the area of Nicklaus Street and Wade Drive on the city’s east side.

The girl told her parents and said that the same man had followed her and attempted to lure her into his vehicle on two other occasions in the same area within the past two months, police said.

The first time, the man asked the victim for help starting his vehicle by sitting “in the driver’s seat to step on the gas pedal,” police said. The victim became concerned and walked away, police said. She walked away the second time he asked for help as well.

A similar situation was reported March 31. A 21-year-old woman told police that an adult male drove past her several times while she was walking with her dog around 6:30 p.m. in the area of Vine and 12th streets on the city’s west side. The man motioned for the woman to come over to him, police said, but she kept walking.

The woman later saw the same man near his vehicle, which appeared to be having mechanical problems. The man asked if the woman would get into his vehicle and help him start the engine, but police said the woman refused and walked away. As the woman left the area, she snapped a photo of the man and his truck with her cellphone and called police.

Police have advised the man that his actions were frightening local residents and to discontinue his inappropriate behavior. The man has no criminal history and no prior criminal contacts with law enforcement. Detectives photographed him and his vehicle and plan to distribute the information to local law enforcement agencies.