Man accused of posing as loss prevention officer convicted of kidnapping 14-year-old girl

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A man who authorities say posed as a loss prevention officer was found guilty Monday of kidnapping and false imprisonment with violence in connection with forcing a 14-year-old girl and her sister to follow him to a restroom after accusing them of stealing.

Prosecutors alleged Steven Waldo, 66, also inappropriately touched the 14-year-old, but the jury deadlocked on charges of lewd or lascivious acts with a child 14 or 15 years old and annoying a minor.

Sentencing on the charges on which Waldo was convicted is set for Dec. 16. Prosecutors may decide to retry him on the other two charges.

In September 2019, the girl told police she was shopping at the Target at Valley Plaza mall when a man approached her and her sister and told them he was an undercover loss prevention officer. She said the man, later identified as Waldo, accused them of stealing and escorted them to a restroom, where he questioned them.

Waldo allegedly patted down the 14-year-old over her clothing, touching her ribcage and inner thighs, according to court documents.

Police said Waldo admitted to posing as an undercover officer and touching the girl. He was homeless at the time of the incident.

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