Kudos to our victims and an alert citizen who called in this information to report suspicious activity. Their alertness and call led the arrest of this predator.
On Tuesday September 24, 2013, Santa Cruz Police Department Detectives arrested suspect Joshua Paul James 31 years old, (Santa Cruz Resident) on charges of Child Annoying, Stalking and Child Pornography. Mr. James was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail with an increased bail amount of $250,000.
Here is Mr. James with glasses
Here he is without glasses:
On Monday September 23, 2013, Santa Cruz Police Department officers took a report of suspicious activity involving a person in a vehicle around Santa Cruz High School. Officers learned that two student athletes were running through the neighborhood as part of their training regimen. In the course of their running, they noticed a suspicious person in a vehicle following them and appearing at various parts of their running route.
On September 24, 2013, Detectives were in the course of following up the previous day’s report when a second report of suspicious activity was dispatched near Pacific Collegiate School on Swift Street. It was reported to officers that a male suspect appeared to be photographing or filming female students in and around the school grounds.
Descriptions in both cases appeared similar. Detectives began scouring the city streets looking for the suspect’s vehicle. They found the car parked in a lot near Front and Laurel Streets. Mr. James eventually got into the car and drove away. Officers conducted a car stop and contacted Mr. James.
Mr. James was interviewed and eventually arrested for several counts of possessing obscene matter depicting children as well as Child Annoying and Stalking charges. Detectives learned that Mr. James was video filming and taking photographs of young females between 13-15 years for purpose of sexual gratification.
Detectives served a search warrant at Mr. James’ home in the 300 block of Buena Vista Ave. Detectives also searched his car, a 2007 White Toyota Yaris, License Plate #5UCD442.
Detectives seized several items of evidence including photography equipment, storage cards and computer equipment. Detectives are in the process of meticulously going the through the images and hard drives to identify any additional photographs and/or victims.
In this case, the efforts of alert citizens and victims provided critical information that assisted in the quick location, identification and arrest of the suspect. Additionally, they called to report the suspicious activity, which eventually led to this predator being removed from the streets before he was able to claim additional victims.