Crime

Man tried to lure 11-year-old boy at Meridian school book fair, police say

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Police arrested a man Thursday afternoon for allegedly trying to lure an 11-year-old boy over Snapchat.

Irvin Aleman-Villegas, 20, was booked on charges of child enticement through the internet, video image or other communication device.

The Meridian Police Department said in a news release that the boy rode his bicycle to a school book fair at River Valley Elementary on Thursday afternoon.

“When the boy was going to leave, he discovered a gift card hanging from his bicycle handlebars,” the news release said. “The gift card had a note with a phone number” and a way for the boy to contact Aleman-Villegas through Snapchat.

The boy called the number, and the person who answered said they were 18 years old and left the gift card “just because,” the news release said.

The boy went into the school and told the principal, who went back outside with the boy to look at the bicycle. Then, they both noticed a man later identified as Aleman-Villegas leaving the school and driving off in a black Honda, police said. The boy told the principal he’d seen Aleman-Villegas walking into the school and looking at pictures earlier that day.

The principal called Meridian police, who then identified Aleman-Villegas “through his Snapchat account,” the news release said.

Police told the Statesman there also was communication over Snapchat.

Patrol officers later found Aleman-Villegas and arrested him.

Correction: An earlier version of this story had the wrong name for Aleman-Villegas, based on information from police.

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