Parents nab sex offender allegedly taking photos of kids

Tumwater police arrested a registered sex offender Thursday for taking photos of young children at a Wal-Mart and Fred Meyer.

According to police, a mother shopping at Wal-Mart said Randy Russell Smith, 54, was using his phone to take pictures of her 6-year-old daughter. He got away after the mother confronted him.

While police were investigating at the Wal-Mart, they received another call at the Fred Meyer next door.

"While (officers) were at Wal-Mart, they were dispatched to a disturbance at the Fred Meyer, which is basically next door, and came in contact with two males who had apprehended the suspect," explained Tumwater Police Detective Jennifer Kolb.

Kolb said a father at Fred Meyer caught Smith taking photos of his daughter in the store's dressing room. With the help of another customer, they held Smith down until police arrived.

Eric DeWitt told KING-5 he saw Smith taking photos under a dressing room stall and eventually tackled him.

"I asked him what he was doing and he said he was 'nothing, nothing, nothing,' so he wondered off. At that point in time I started following him and saying 'you're not going anywhere.'"

Police say Smith spent 18 years in prison for raping a 3-year-old in 1990.


KIRO Radio Staff, Staff report
Straight from the newsdesk.
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