#childmolestor | Bend police seek tips after arrest of sex offender possibly following 2 teens

Witnesses contacted police about minivan driver on NE Third Street

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Bend police are seeking information from the public after the arrest of a sex offender from Salem who officers said was seen suspiciously following two teenage girls Sunday afternoon in a gold minivan along Northeast Third Street.

Police responded around 1:30 p.m. Sunday to the area of Dutch Bros at Third Street and Lafayette Avenue, where a man in a gold 2005 gold Honda Odyssey van had been seen suspiciously following the teens, Lt. Juli McConkey said.

Witnesses described the girls as 13 to 16 years old, and one caller said he watched them run and hide from the van. The caller was able to obtain the van’s license plate as the driver sped off. But police were unable to find the girls to determine what the circumstances were, McConkey said.

On Wednesday night, around 10 p.m., officers located the van at the Dutch Bros in the 62000 block of North Highway 97, the lieutenant said. The driver and sole occupant, Thomas Lee Barlow, 58, of Salem, was contacted, arrested and jailed on a charge of failure to register as a sex offender and on a probation violation warrant from another county.

McConkey said police would like to speak with anyone who witnessed the incident, has information on how to contact the teens or has witnessed other incidents that were suspicious in nature regarding Barlow and his van, described as a 2005 gold Honda Odyssey with a silver box on top and a bike rack on the back.

Anyone with information to provide officers is asked to call the Deschutes County dispatch non-emergency line at 541-693-6911.

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