A young, alert teen smartly used her camera phone that led to the arrest of a 43-year-old Alhambra man on Thursday.
“It shows what her father instilled (in her),” explained South Pasadena Police Officer Brian Wiley, who brought the man into custody, praising the 13-year-old female who had the wherewithal to pull out her cell phone and take a picture of the suspect’s vehicle after it pulled up along her, the man inside asking if she wanted a ride a day earlier.
The teen refused the offer at about 12:30 p.m. last Wednesday, then saying no a second time as she walked eastbound on Oak Street in front of South Pasadena Middle School. Later in the day, the teen described the suspect to authorities as a Hispanic male, about 30-35 years of age, with a thin build, medium complexion, black wavy hair and wearing a goatee.
“Hopefully, other parents can learn off of this, instilling (the importance of) staying away from strangers, identifying what a stranger is,” explained Wiley during a Thursday afternoon press conference at South Pasadena City Hall, noting that the victim took positive action in the face of adversity by snapping a photo of the car. “It just goes to show what her parents taught her to lead to this arrest.”
As the teen walked down the street on April 19, Police Chief Art Miller explained that a red Toyota Corolla with the suspect inside pulled up alongside and slowly paced her as she walked down the street. According to Miller, the suspect then drove ahead of the juvenile and stopped at the intersection of Marengo Avenue and Oak Street. Again, police officials say, the man asked the teen if she wanted a ride, but she refused. She then pulled out her cellphone, took a picture of the vehicle before it sped away, heading eastbound on Oak Street.
Miller said the female described the suspect as a Hispanic male, about 30-35 years old, a thin build, medium complexion, black wavy hair and wearing a goatee.
He pulled the car over and arrested the suspect, identifying the man as Los Angeles resident Edwin Linares, who had a $125,000 warrant for unlawful sex with a minor with the Alhambra Police Department.
“Based on that picture, I was able to identify the license number, verify who he was, leading to the arrest,” said Wiley, explaining Linares was arrested without incident. SPPD officials say the juvenile picked out the suspect in a photographic lineup.
The father of the juvenile, who was not in attendance at Thursday’s press conference, had another concern that Miller expressed. “Many times, victims of sexual predators, especially children sometimes feel as though they are at fault for what happened,” said the police chief. “He wanted me to convey, that is not the case. Adults have a responsibility. They should know better. If they try to accost a child, they should be held accountable.”
Those with more additional information regarding the case are urged to call SPPD Detectives at (626) 403-7297.