TEMECULA – A Hemet resident was apprehended by deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Temecula Police Station Friday afternoon, Aug. 12. The man was arrested after “an alert, off-duty law enforcement officer observed a suspicious adult male driving slowly alongside a 12-year-old female pedestrian,” according to Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Steve Fredericks.
The incident happened at about 3:50 p.m., near the intersection of Pauba Road and Linfield Way,
Sensing something was not right, the off-duty officer stopped to intervene.
Deputies with the Temecula Police Department responded to the area to investigate the incident. During their investigation, deputies detained Baker and determined he was attempting to lure the 12-year-old victim into his vehicle. He was stopped when the off-duty deputy intervened on the young girl’s behalf.
Deputies conducted a records check and learned the man is a registered sex offender in California. Deputies identified the man as Robert Francis Baker, 68, of Hemet.
Deputies also learned that in spite of being a registered sex offender Baker was not on active probation or parole when the incident happened. His sex offender information is available to the public via the Megan’s Law website.
Deputies transported Baker to the Temecula Police Station for further investigation and interviews by sheriffs’ investigators. At the conclusion of their investigation, officials arrested Baker and he was booked at the Southwest Detention Center.
A jail record search revealed Baker was booked on suspicion of one felony count of annoying or molesting a child.
“Investigators petitioned the court for a bail increase and were successful in getting Baker’s bail set at $1,500,000,” Fredericks wrote in a press release about the incident and arrest.
Baker is scheduled to be arraigned at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta Aug. 16.
“The Temecula Police Department would like to remind the public to remain constantly vigilant of suspicious behaviors and activities, and to frequently educate and remind your children of appropriate safety practices,” Fredericks wrote. “Always report suspicious persons and activities as soon as is practical.”
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact Sergeant Steve Fredericks of the Temecula Police Department at (951) 696-3000. Callers can refer to incident file number TE162250215 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.