SCV deputies arrest man on suspicion of ‘child stealing’ in Castaic

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station can be reached by calling 661-260-4000.

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies were able to find and arrest a man on suspicion of “child stealing” in Castaic Tuesday, with the help of video surveillance.

SCV deputies were initially alerted by the parents of the alleged victim Monday afternoon. 

A 10-year-old girl was in the car with two siblings around 3:44 p.m. Monday, when a man on a bicycle approached the vehicle near Hasley Canyon Road and Gibralter Lane. 

“After circling the area for about three minutes, he approached a young female (under 10 years) who was in her mother’s car with her two younger siblings,” according to an email from Deputy Natalie Arriaga of the SCV Sheriff’s Station  “The older male handed her two dollars and tried to talk her into going with him.”

When the child’s mother saw the man and heard her daughter say, “No,” she confronted him and the suspect quickly fled the area.

After obtaining and reviewing security camera footage of the alleged incident the following day, the victim’s father immediately called the Sheriff’s Station, Arriaga noted.

“When deputies watched the video, one alert deputy recognized the man and knew where he lived,” she wrote, citing the preliminary report of the arrest. 

The deputies drove to the suspect’s house, which was more than three miles away.

After the alleged victim’s mother identified the suspect, he was arrested on suspicion of violating sections 647.6 and 278 California Penal Code, which pertain to child molestation and attempted child abduction. 

Dustin Hughes, 50, of Buckskin Drive in Castaic, was arrested in lieu of $175,000 bail.

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