Crime

SLO sex offender accused of masturbating in store parking lot, police say

Vernon Pete Gray, 35, of San Luis Obispo was arrested Thursday, July 19, 2018, on suspicion of indecent exposure and a parole violation.
Vernon Pete Gray, 35, of San Luis Obispo was arrested Thursday, July 19, 2018, on suspicion of indecent exposure and a parole violation.

A 35-year-old San Luis Obispo man who is a registered sex offender was arrested Thursday after he reportedly exposed himself to a woman in a shopping center parking lot.

Police learned through a social media account of indecent exposure that allegedly occurred Sunday at the 1300 block of Madonna Road, and were able to make contact with the reported victim, officials said.

The woman told authorities a tall male with long, brown hair was following and watching her as she put items into her vehicle, according to a news release from the San Luis Obispo Police Department.

“When she returned to her vehicle a short time later after visiting another store, she notice that he had parked next to her, pointed his phone in her direction and began masturbating,” the release said.

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The woman immediately left the scene.

After obtaining a description of the man and his vehicle, police identified Vernon Pete Gray as a suspect. The victim was able to positively identify Gray from a lineup, police said.

At 1:47 p.m. Thursday, officers located Gray at a job site in San Luis Obispo and arrested him on suspicion of indecent exposure and a parole violation.

Gray was taken to San Luis Obispo County Jail, where he is being held without bail on the parole violation, according to the release.

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