Thanks for reading Chatham County’s leading news source! Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing to the News + Record – you can do so by clicking here.
Siler City man allegedly used Kik Messenger to conduct illicit online activity with minor
The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office announced an arrest last week of a Siler City man for sexual exploitation of a minor that allegedly occurred on a popular social media app.
Lorenzo Vasquez, 32, of Siler City, faces three felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor with additional charges pending, according to a release from the sheriff’s office. The release stated that deputies were tipped off to the possibility and was taken into custody on March 19.
Investigators say the crimes “appear to be conducted through the use of the Kik Messenger app, which has made national headlines in recent years as one of the top worst cellphone apps for children and teens.” Kik serves as a free messaging tool used by young people, but also “allows strangers to connect with children relatively anonymously, which can lead to inappropriate relationships and content sharing between adults and minors,” the release stated.
“It’s important for parents to educate themselves and their children about potentially dangerous apps and how to spot them,” Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Sara Pack said in the release. “It’s especially important right now with kids out of school and looking for ways to keep themselves entertained and connected.”
Vasquez is currently being held under a $15,000 bond with a scheduled March 30 court date in Pittsboro.
Armed robbery suspect from Bear Creek arrested while pumping gas in Chatham
The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office apprehended a man suspected of armed robbery last week while he was pumping gas, an hour after the alleged incident.
Eric Wilson, 33, of Bear Creek, faces multiple felony charges after reportedly stealing cash and cigarettes from a convenience store in the Bennett area while brandishing a weapon on Friday, March 20.
Deputies from the sheriff’s office responded to the scene of the original incident and located Wilson approximately an hour later “as he attempted to pump gas at a second convenience store,” according to a press release. He was still in possession of the stolen property, which was recovered without incident.
Wilson has been charged with felony robbery with a dangerous weapon, felony larceny, felony possession of stolen goods, assault by pointing a gun, assault with a deadly weapon and communicating threats. He was assigned a $25,000 bond and given an April 27 court date at Chatham County District Court in Pittsboro.