Local News

Arrested: Man tries to lure kids into van with candy

West York – A West York man is arrested and charged with trying to lure children into his van at a playground.  Police hope this arrest may have stopped the suspect before he could successfully abduct any young boys.

A promise of candy and lollipops was the weapon police say Julio Flores Junior used to try and lure young boys into his van.  Court documents paint a disturbing picture of the suspect and his intentions at this park.  Those intentions may have been thwarted by the quick actions of some brave young boys.

Forty-three-year-old Julio Flores Junior was arrested and charged on Saturday with trying to lure kids into his van with the promise of candy.

“That’s just odd.  You don’t talk to kids you don’t know,” said West York Police Officer Brad Polinski.

It was one of the first nice days of the year on Saturday when a group of 10 pre-teen boys playing at Slagle Park in West York were approached by the suspect.  A green van pulled up to the group around 7:15 Saturday night.  The man inside asked the kids if they want candy.

“They are telling us that this guy was talking to us.  We have no clue who this guy is.  We have never seen him before,” Polinski said.

The kids got spooked and ran to tell an adult.  The kids provided police with a good description.  Police tracked down Flores at an apartment just a few blocks away.

“Opening the van up, inside the back, there was a weird mattress.  You couldn’t see inside, if he had someone inside there, you would never know,” said Polinski.

Inside the van which had curtains over the windows was a mattress, box of candy, latex gloves and lollipops.  West York Police is fearful that this suspect was serious about his motives.

“If we didn’t get him today or yesterday when we had him, he could have gone on today, tomorrow, next weekend.  Predators are going to do what they are going to do until they fulfill their fantasies,” said arresting officer Polinski.

One of the victims positively identified Flores as the suspect.  After he was taken into custody, police also found marijuana, several pipes and even a scale in his clothing.  Police say the kids and the parents made the right move.

“I would rather have a parent call me up and voice concern over what’s going on, have me look into it and it be a false alarm, then have a child picked up and taken away,” Polinski said.

Flores is being held on $100,000 bail.  He is charged with child luring along with two other drug charges.  Police think these kids stopped a crime before it could have escalated into something with a far worse outcome.

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