A 39-year-old man suspected of trying to arrange a sexual encounter with someone he believed to be an underage girl — but who was really a decoy staged as part of an undercover sting operation — was arrested in Perris, authorities said Saturday.
Louis August Lockard of Perris was booked Friday into the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside on suspicion of arranging to meet a minor for illicit purposes and contacting a minor with intent to commit a sexual offense.
Lockard is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the nonprofit Child Predator Catching Unit was involved in a series of online communications with the suspect over an unspecified period, during which Lockard was apparently under the impression that he was conversing with a Perris-area girl.
The child advocate in contact with him agreed to meet the suspect in the 1800 block of Perris Boulevard shortly after 4 p.m. Friday, according to sheriff’s officials.
When he showed up, members of the special unit confronted him and called 911, authorities said.
After speaking with the sting operators and Lockard, deputies initially did not find sufficient evidence to make an arrest, and the suspect left. But after further evaluating the information provided by the advocacy organization, investigators found there was enough to justify an arrest, sheriff’s officials said.
A search was initiated, and Lockard was located and taken into custody without incident on Trumble Road at 9 p.m. Friday, according to jail records.
Background information on the suspect was unavailable.