A man who exposed himself to a 10-year-old girl at the Barnes and Noble in San Mateo in June has been arrested, the San Mateo Police Department announced Monday.
Christopher Miller, a 70-year-old registered sex offender, was arrested last month by Mountain View police earlier this month on suspicion of lewd behavior toward two young children at a Mountain View Walmart, San Mateo Police Sgt. Dave Norris said.
Other law enforcement agencies have identified the San Jose man as a suspect in similar behavior in a fast food restaurant in Union City and the sexual assault of a child in a San Mateo book store.
In each of the cases, the suspect wore a fisherman style hat, evidence that helped lead police toward an arrest, Norris said.
On June 23, at about 3 p.m., a 10-year-old girl was lured away to an isolated area and attacked in the Barnes the Noble store in San Mateo.
During the investigation, San Mateo detectives sent photos and video out to the media, visited numerous local sex offenders, and handled a volume of tips from the community in an attempt to locate and identify this suspect.
On July 25, at about 4:30 p.m., a male subject matching the description of the Barnes and Noble suspect exposed himself to a mother and three young females in a Burger King restaurant on Alvarado Niles Road in Union City.
Union City police quickly recognized the similarity to the San Mateo case and the two agencies have been working collaboratively to identify a suspect.
On Sept. 7 at about 4:30 p.m., a similarly described suspect was confronted by a mother in a Walmart store after touching himself inappropriately while staring at her two female children. The mother began shouting at Miller and informed a Walmart employee about the incident.
Because the mother brought the actions of Miller to the attention of a Walmart employee, Mountain View police was then contacted by a loss prevention team member who provided a description of Miller’s vehicle, license plate and direction of travel.
This enabled Mountain View officers to locate and stop the suspect’s vehicle as he attempted to leave the scene.
During the course of their investigation, Mountain View police realized that the suspect in their case matched the description of the San Mateo and Union City cases, including the distinctive “fisherman” style hat worn by the suspect in all three incidents.
Miller was subsequently arrested by Mountain View police on suspicion of annoying or molesting a child under 18. He was booked into Santa Clara County Jail and remains in custody.
Charges in the San Mateo case are pending.
Union City police believe Christopher Miller to the suspect in their incident at Burger King. Union City’s investigation has been forwarded to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office for charges.
Message from San Mateo Police:
Investigators are aware that there may be similar, unreported incidents in nearby jurisdictions. If you have information related to a similar incident, you are encouraged to contact that agency of jurisdiction to make sure your local law enforcement agency is aware.
Mountain View Police - 650-903-6395 and reference case number 13-5005 for incidents involving this suspect.
San Mateo Police Investigations - 650-522-7650
Union City Police Investigations – 510-675-5220 (Det. Wu)