William Lopez – Repeat Sex Offender – Stalked young girl at JCPenny

A convicted sex offender who was supposed to stay away from children is back behind bars after alert security personnel at JCPenney in the Westfield Trumbull mall spotted him following a small girl Saturday.

William Lopez, 63, of Noble Avenue in Bridgeport, was jailed in lieu of $100,000 bond after his arraignment Monday in Bridgeport Superior Court on charges of second-degree breach of peace degree and obscenity. His case was continued to May 19.

Police Lt. Keith Golding said Monday that Lopez was spotted by the store’s loss-prevention officers as he followed a young girl and her parents Saturday evening. The suspect attracted suspicion because of where his hands were in his pants, Golding said.

Another loss-prevention officer became involved, and the two plainclothes officers followed Lopez out of JCPenney and into another store, where they called cops by cell phone for help.

JCPenney store manager Michele Lozanski said the eagle-eyed employees’ training goes well beyond theft prevention.

“One of our cornerstones is also safety,” she said.

She declined to name her staff members, but said one was a three-year employee and the other has worked at the store for about a year. “The two [loss-prevention officers] are extremely proud,” she said.

Officials said the girl’s family was apparently unaware of what was happening.

In 2005, Lopez was convicted of risk of injury to a minor, according to information posted on the state’s sex offender registry.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte

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