Redding Police NPU arrests three internet sexual predators

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The Redding Police Department’s Neighborhood Police Unit (NPU) has been proactively investigating sexual predators who utilize internet websites and social media to communicate with local children with the intent of befriending them and initiating sexual activity.  Over the course of these proactive investigations in the early months of 2017, the Neighborhood Police Unit has made arrests in three separate investigations.   Each case culminated in the suspects arriving at a prearranged meeting location where the suspects were to meet with minors for sexual activity.  At each of these meetings, NPU officers were in the area conducting surveillance and arrests were made prior to any meeting taking place. 

On February 21, 2017, Clifford Jay Markhart, 53 years of Redding, was contacted and arrested by NPU officers in a Redding city park after making arrangements online to meet with a 15-year-old girl for sexual activity.  Markhart was booked into the Shasta County Jail for multiple charges related to arranging sex with a minor. 

On March 1, 2017, Ronnie Lin Ray, 52 years of Redding, was contacted and arrested in a Redding city park by NPU officers after making arrangements online to meet with a 15-year-old boy for sexual activity.  Ray was booked into the Shasta County Jail for multiple charges related to arranging sex with a minor. 

On March 9, 2017, Timothy Brian Thompson, 42 years of Medford, Oregon was contacted and arrested by NPU officers in a Redding city park after making arrangements online to meet with a 14-year-old girl for sexual activity.  Thompson is employed as a truck driver and has been driving by a Redding high school during his grocery delivery routes to look at under aged females on the campus; admittedly hoping one of the juveniles was the 14-year-old girl he attempted to meet with.  Thompson was booked into the Shasta County jail for multiple charges related to arranging sex with a minor.  Thompson has since pled guilty to charges related to this investigation.   

As a reminder, the Redding Police Department encourages parents to closely monitor their children’s internet activities including social media accounts.  These types of websites have become a popular way for sexual predators to solicit children and for human trafficking activity. 

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