Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

A 78-year-old man who allegedly tried to get a young girl to follow him into a supermarket bathroom by offering her “a treat” remained jailed Sunday in lieu of $5,000 bail.

Theodore Brian Childers of Simi Valley was arrested Thursday and booked into the Southwest Detention Center in the southwestern Riverside County town of Murrieta north of Temecula on suspicion of annoying a minor, according to Riverside police Officer Ryan Railsback.

The 6-year-old victim allegedly encountered Childers at a Food-4-Less on Chicago Avenue on Feb. 15. The suspect allegedly told the girl to join him in the men’s bathroom, where he promised to “give her a treat,” Railsback said.

The officer alleged that Childers held the door open and motioned for the child to come with him, but she ultimately refused.

Her family contacted police after learning what transpired, and detectives from the police department’s Sexual Assault Child Abuse unit picked up the investigation, obtaining store surveillance video of the incident and posting it to social media, according to Railsback.

At about 7 a.m. Thursday, an employee at a gym on Magnolia Avenue spotted a man whom he believed was the same one in the video, prompting the witness to call 911, Railsback said.

Officers arrived a short time later and questioned Childers, who was arrested without incident.

The suspect has no prior documented felony or misdemeanor convictions in Riverside County.

Childers is expected to appear in court on Monday at the Riverside Hall Of Justice.

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