Madera men arrested for preying on teen girls

May 30, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police in Madera arrested two men accused of preying on teenage girls on the street and online. Through an undercover sting operation, Madera police arrested 44-year-old Ruben Garza and 51-year-old Charles Ray Cruz.

In the video, you'll see the Facebook profile of so-called Casanova Garcia, who described himself as 17-years-old on the social networking site. But in reality, police say 51-year-old Charles Ray Cruz of Madera, created the fake account to befriend young girls between the ages of 12 and 17, and get them on the phone.

Detective Daniel Foss said, "He would repeatedly call them through the phone with a restrictive number, breathe into the phone, try to find out where they sit in church was one of his favorite things to do, where they went to school."

Police were informed of the suspected teen stalker from one of the victim's parents, and began tracking him down through an undercover operation.

"Our detective who was working undercover, informed him she was 13," said Detective Foss. "Within moments of the conversation, he asked to have sex with her."

On Thursday, the undercover agent got Cruz to meet at a taco shop in Madera, and that's when detectives moved in to make the arrest. Cruz's friend, 44-year-old Ruben Garza, was also arrested.

"All day long, these two who are best friends, sat together, and casted out their line," said Detective Foss. "They tried to find some young girl to bite."

And police say the men have a history of preying on young women at various sites in Madera, including Town and Country Park.

Debbie Magos said, "Once we got the photo of the gentleman, we were constantly walking around in the fields, to make sure he wasn't out here."

One of the men was spotted watching a girls' softball game not long ago. Police say both men are regulars at sporting events.

Crystal Lynn Rivera said, "It's scary because I have a 13-year-old daughter and we come out here all the time to play sports, and it's scary."

Police say parents play a critical role in keeping their teenagers safe. They say parents should monitor their children's lives both on the street, and online.


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