Man Accused of Groping Girl at Redlands Target Also Allegedly Exposed Himself to Middle School Students

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A 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of lewd acts after being accused of groping an 8-year-old girl at a Target in Redlands, police said Monday.

The incident happened at the Target at 27320 W. Lugonia Ave. about 7:25 p.m. Friday.

The suspect, identified as Alex Francisco Chavez, went into the store and headed directly to the toy section, where he contacted the young victim, according to a Redlands Police Department statement.

After “briefly” speaking to the girl, he allegedly walked behind her and grabbed the child’s chest area, the statement read.

The mother then confronted the individual, who denied touching her inappropriately and left, according to police.

He was in the store for approximately 7 minutes before driving away.

Surveillance images released on social media helped detectives identify Chavez as the suspect, police said.

They got in touch with Chavez, who agreed to meet detectives at the department, according to the statement. He was interviewed and arrested.

During the investigation, police discovered that Chavez had already been charged with seven counts in another case where he is accused of exposing himself to teenage girls outside a middle school in Hesperia last February.

Because of those charges, police were able to obtain a bail enhancement in the Redlands case, authorities said.  Chavez is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Anyone with information about the investigation, or who would like to report a similar incident, is asked call police at 909.798.7681 ext. 1.

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