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SANDY — A convicted sex offender who police say has been noncompliant with the sex offender registry in Utah is accused of trying to lure two young girls into his car.
David Adalberto Vargas, 34, was charged Tuesday in 3rd District Court with two counts of attempted child kidnapping, a first-degree felony.
On June 4, 2022, two 11-year-old girls were walking along State Street near 9400 South in Sandy when Vargas pulled up next to them in his car and told them to "come here," according to charging documents. "Vargas asked them if they needed a ride, and they said 'yes' to South Towne Mall."
But as Vargas unlocked his door to let the girls in, they "stated that they felt that something bad was going to happen, so they said 'no' and ran away," according to the charges. One girl told police that Vargas "was twitching as he opened the car door for them."
Vargas followed the girls as they ran down the sidewalk while "screaming for help," the charges state. A woman driving another car saw what was happening and turned around to help. At that point, police say Vargas drove off but parked nearby and watched them.
Based on witness descriptions of the vehicle and Vargas, police were able to track him down and question him. According to prosecutors, Vargas is a registered sex offender out of California, where he was convicted of three counts of sex offenses against children. He is also "currently marked as a noncompliant sex offender in the state of Utah," charging documents state.
Vargas claimed to police that he saw the girls talking to someone else and "stopped to check on them, which was not the case," the charges state.
Last year, Sandy police issued a press release asking for the public's help in identifying a suspect in two similar cases that happened around the same time. On June 6 and June 9, a man tried to lure two children in his car in the area between 11000 South and 11400 South, and east of 700 East, according police. On Tuesday, police confirmed that Vargas is not a suspect in that case, but a person believed to be the suspect had been identified and that investigation remains active.