Southern California

Good Samaritans Help in Arrest of Accused Predator After Seeing Facebook Post

A man accused of sexually harassing women was behind bars Tuesday after some good Samaritans took action after seeing a Facebook post.

Ashley Rodriguez said she was sitting in a car with her parents at a Menifee shopping Center Saturday when a man began asking her strange questions, like what time the stores opened.

"Obviously the parking lot is full around noon, so I told him, 'you know it's open right now.' He said, 'What time does it close?' I said, 'Sometime tonight," she said.

"So then he kind of gave me like a stare. And when he was walking away I realized that's the guy I'd seen on a Facebook post from my neighbor."

In the Facebook post, it describes a woman's disturbing encounter with a man at a Menifee gym.

The victim said the man harassed her and demanded that they have sex. She was able to take a picture before getting away.

"He was still standing there, so I got a picture of him, compared the two pictures and that was him," Rodriguez said.

She and her parents called 911.

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She says as they waited for deputies to arrive, they began following the man to keep an eye on him.

She said at one point she came across a woman who was with her young daughter.

"This lady kind of looked scared and her little girl was crying next to her, and I went up to her and said, 'Hey did you get approached by a man?' 'Yes he asked me to go to his car, and my daughter is terrified. And he says he has something for me,'" she said.

Rodriguez said more than a half-hour after their call, Riverside County Sheriff's deputies arrived and arrested the man on suspicion of lewd conduct.

Deputies identified the suspect as 31-year-old Vincent Flores, a Menifee resident who lives a few miles from the shopping center.

Rodriguez believes there are more victims out there, and she's hoping they come forward.

She also has this advice to others.

"And always check your surroundings before you get in your car. Make sure no one is around your car and if you see anything suspicious, report it," she said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Flores was still in jail.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Riverside County Sheriff's Department at 1-800-950-2444.

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