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Police arrest alleged Long Beach predator

October 29, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
There is relief in a Long Beach neighborhood where police have arrested a man suspected of trying to lure young children away from their homes with pornography. Earlier in October, Long Beach police went public with their plea for help in looking for the suspect. A surveillance video and a tip gave police the break they needed.

Long Beach police say the suspect they have in custody has been preying on children in the area since October of last year.

The surveillance video was taken from the security camera of a Hill Street home. Long Beach detectives say making that video public is what helped them make an arrest.

Derek Christopher Nixon, 26, was arrested last Friday at his job in Torrance.

Police say the Long Beach resident tried to lure children between the ages of 5 to 11 into his car by showing the kids pornographic material.

"The tipsters were able to provide enough information from what they saw in the media that they believed that this was the individual who committed the crimes. They basically pointed us in the right direction. And I think it was based on the physical description ... the style of hair, the way it was worn. And maybe the body language," said Sgt. Aaron Eaton, Long Beach Police Department.

According to police, one of the places Nixon tried to lure kids was on Hill Street between Atlantic Avenue and Long Beach Boulevard. An elementary school is in the area.

"Anytime that you get people like that off the streets, that's wonderful, especially if they're hurting kids, keep them off the streets," said James Johson, a Long Beach resident.

There was strong reaction about the arrest from people who live in the area.

"I'm glad my sister is a little more safe that he's actually in jail. It's like, there's a lot of kids around. I always see them just going around by themselves," said Veronica Preciado, another resident of Long Beach.

"That's a relief, you know. I have a wife that works on the corner over here, being a crossing guard. You see all types of predatory-looking people. But they got him. I'm glad," said Terry Jones, a Long Beach resident.

Nixon faces one felony count of attempting a lewd act against a child and six misdemeanor counts of annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18.

Nixon remains in custody with his bail set at $240,000.


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