SANTA CRUZ -- A 31-year-old Santa Cruz man was arrested Tuesday after police said he followed girls at two high schools and had child pornography in his possession.
Monday afternoon, two Santa Cruz High School girls were running through a neighborhood as part of their sports training program when they noticed a suspicious man following them in a Toyota Yaris, said Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark.
The man showed up at various parts of their running route, Clark said.
Officers were following up on the report Tuesday when they were dispatched to Pacific Collegiate School at 255 Swift St. A man was photographing or filming female students near the school, said Clark.
Descriptions of the man were similar in both cases, and detectives stopped Joshua Paul James near the 1100 block of Pacific Avenue about 5:15 p.m.
Officers spoke to James and determined that he was photographing and filming girls from 13 to 15 years old for the "purpose of sexual gratification," Clark said.
Authorities also searched James' white 2007 Toyota and found photography equipment, storage cards and computer equipment that contained obscene material.
James was arrested on suspicion of stalking, annoying a child and possession of obscene material depicting children, police said.
Police also obtained a search warrant and collected items from James' home on the 300 block of Buena Vista Avenue in Santa Cruz. They are combing through images on hard drives to identify victims, Clark said.
Police thanked the students for quickly reporting the man and providing accurate descriptions of him.
Santa Cruz police asked that anyone with information call investigations at 831-420-5820, the anonymous tip line at 831-420-5995 or leave a tip at www.santacruzpolice.com or at http://m.santacruzpolice.com.
Follow Sentinel reporter Stephen Baxter at Twitter.com/sbaxter--sc
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