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Fake reporter arrested for targeting teen girls

September 5, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Parents are on alert in Ventura County after police track down a Thousand Oaks man pretending to be a reporter. He allegedly targeted teenage girls and offered them money to pose for photographs.

Ventura County Sheriff's investigators say 36-year-old Christopher Allen Burton posed as a reporter and offered teenage girls money to take pictures of them. Investigators say he approached at least seven girls over the course of two days last week.

Deputies arrested Burton at his home in Thousand Oaks last week after he was identified as the suspect driving a black truck and approaching girls.

Detectives say he approached girls on four different occasions, outside local businesses, outside a park, and at Newbury Park High School. Investigators say in one case Burton posed as a local newspaper reporter and offered money to girls to take their photographs. Detectives say that in another incident Burton offered money to take video of a girl.

"Obviously, these girls knew not to get in his truck or to go with him and they all went home and told their parents about it, which is what we'd like them to continue to do," said Ventura County Sheriff's Sgt. Barbara Payton.

Investigators say two girls went home and told a parent, who went back to a Trader Joe's and CVS parking lot. The parent was able to take down the suspect's license plate number.

Burton was arrested at his home for on a misdemeanor charge of child annoyance. He was scheduled for a court date and released.

"The child annoying section is strictly that: annoying. There's no sexual intent at that point," said Payton.

Investigators believe Burton may have approached more girls, and are asking anyone with information to call Ventura County Sheriff's Office Investigations Bureau at (805) 494-8201.


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