SVU detective gives new details of man exposing himself to child at Barnes and Noble

Posted at 5:29 PM, Jan 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-14 17:42:50-05

Virginia Beach, Va. - Police need your help finding a man who exposed himself to a child in the children's section of the Barnes and Noble on Virginia Beach Boulevard.

Police say the man, pictured in surveillance video, approached the child victim and exposed himself on November 27 between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The suspect is described as a white male, 25 to 40 years old, 5’10” to 6’ tall and weighing approximately 175 pounds.

He was unshaven, wearing a dark blue shirt, khaki pants and an olive green hat.  He was carrying a black smartphone.

Police believe the man could also be the person responsible for a similar incident that happened at the Dollar Tree on Independence Boulevard on January 9 around 2 p.m.

The man in this case approached two kids in the toy aisle and exposed himself.

"One child immediately notified the parent which is exactly what that child should do," says Detective Kristy Curtis with the Virginia Beach Police Department's Special Victims Unit.

Detective Curtis tells NewsChannel 3 that all three victims are under the age of six-years-old and were not directly attended by their parents at the time of the incidents.

"We understand that it is hard to keep your eye on more than one child, that's why it is important to keep your child within arms distance."

In this incident, the suspect is described as a white male, 35 to 45 years old, 5’10” to 6’ tall, with dark hair and dark eyes.  He was wearing a brown coat and blue jeans.

Detective Curtis says she does not know if these are the only two incidents that this man may have been responsible.

"There definitely could be more," she says. "The suspect in question as we know it has not made any attempts to take a child or physically hurt a child, however, we do not know his intentions."

Customers outside of the shopping center said they were horrified to hear that someone would do this to a child.

"It's horrible and its scary its really scary. Everyone goes in the Dollar Tree," said Lynnette Pugh.

Now Pugh says she is thinking twice about taking her grandchildren into the store with her, something she normally never thought twice about.

"I will never let my grandchildren go through the store every again by themselves. I I let them go to the toy isle to pick out something, but no they are going to be right here by my side from here on in."

Detective Curtis is urging anyone who witnesses someone committing a crime like this, to speak up.

"Start being as loud and vocal as you can about the situation, that'll garner everyone's attention around you."

Anyone with information regarding the identity of this suspect is encouraged to call Virginia Beach Crime Solvers at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (1-888-562-5887) or by texting “VBTIP” and the information to CRIMES (274637).

If you believe your child was also a victim of this crime, you are urged to contact police.

For more information on shopping safety, visit the Missing Kids website.