Prosecutors in Maryland credit two quick-thinking teenage girls with helping police get a “child predator” off the streets.
Daniel Dickson, 34, had been seen lurking around middle and high schools in the Silver Spring, Md., area for years, according to local police. He was convicted last week of sexual solicitation of a minor and now awaits sentencing in March.
When police arrested him, they found paraphernalia of a “sexual nature” — oils, Axe body spray and boxes of condoms, including Rough Rider Studded — and a twin-sized mattress in the van.
“It looks like the minivan was set up for being a roving sex chamber,” Ramon Korionoff, a spokesman for Montgomery County state’s attorney’s office, told WJLA in Washington, D.C.
Dickson came to the end of the road when he propositioned the wrong girls last summer.
Police say he stopped two sisters, ages 15 and 19, about 7 p.m. on June 5 as they walked on a sidewalk outside a middle school in Silver Spring.
He told them they were “cute” and suggested they “hop in his car,” according to WJLA. He got out of the van and approached the girls, who told police he propositioned both of them for oral sex.
“Can you (bleep),” he reportedly asked them.
“I was like, ‘Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me,’” one of the sisters later told police.
The girls told him they were “underage” but Dickson didn’t seem to care. The girls told him they were going to take pictures of him and he took off.
One sister called 911 and the other recorded Dickson driving away in a 2003 silver Mazda MPV minivan, the license plate in plain sight.
“They called 911, they caught the license plate on video and today, we have a conviction against what seems to be a child predator,” Korionoff told local media.
Police stopped Dickson in his minivan about a week later. They found the mattress in the back and the condoms and body spray in the glove compartment.
Police said he confessed to routinely cruising through suburban neighborhoods and browsing Facebook “to pick up girls.”
He reportedly told police he planned to keep doing it until someone told him to stop.
According to WDCW in D.C., the two girls said they had seen Dickson park his van outside the school at least twice a week in the mornings.
He had been investigated for similar activity before.
“Since 2013, he has been parking his van or his car outside of local middle and high schools,” Korionoff told WDCW.
In 2013 Dickson followed a 17-year-old girl home from school in the same neighborhood, trying to lure her with “come play with me,” “wanna see this?” and “what’s your number?”
Police warned him to stop. “And they told him don’t hang out and loiter in front of schools and it seems that through these few years, he’s escalated in his behavior,” Korionoff said.
After a two-day bench trial in Montgomery County Circuit Court last week, Dickson was found guilty of the solicitation charge.
He faces up to 10 years in prison and is required to register as a sex offender for at least 25 years. He is being held without bond until sentencing next month.