SANTA BARBARA — Silvano Rodelas Rojas, 60, of Los Angeles, is a well-known face on the streets of Santa Barbara, where he frequently operates as a street vendor of fresh fruits and vegetables.
On Sunday, Rojas gained access to a private residence, where he lured a 5-year-old girl into a secluded parking area behind an apartment complex. At the time, the girl’s father remained inside the residence, unaware that Rojas had lured her outside.
Rojas then proceeded to perform illegal physical contact with the young girl. He was apparently unaware that he and the girl were being observed by the child’s mother, who had just returned to the residence from her local errands. When Rojas became aware of the mother’s presence, he immediately fled the scene. She promptly called authorities and Rojas was apprehended shortly thereafter while on his vendor route.
Rojas was arrested and booked on charges of felony child molestation. Authorities have posted an alert to Santa Barbara area families along Rojas’ vendor route as they investigate the possibility of a pattern of behavior and additional child victims.
Those with additional information are urged to contact lead investigator Det. Jose Torres at (805) 897-2335.