Jan 18, 2014 12:45 AM by Sam Salzwedel
TUCSON - A man jumped in his car and got the license plate of a suspicious vehicle, leading to a stalking charge against a convicted sex offender, according to Tucson Police.
On September 16 and 17, 2013, a 14-year-old Sahuaro High School student told police a man in a truck had been following her home from school.
On November 15, the same man found her walking to school. Rita Monday noticed the suspicious activity outside her home and yelled to the girl. The vehicle sped off.
"She was just petrified and crying," Monday said. "It was scary, very scary."
November 16, her dad noticed the same truck driving by again. Monday's husband grabbed his keys, got in his car and followed the gray SUV. He made sure to keep a safe distance and not scare the other driver. He reported the license plate number to detectives.
"It takes a village, right?" Monday asked. "Take care of those around you. Help whenever you can."
Police used that tip to identify the driver as James Bland, 30. Police did not arrest him until January 16. He is a convicted sex offender, according to Sgt. Peter Dugan of the Tucson Police Department.
"He had failed to register with a current address," Dugan said. "But they were able to locate where he had been residing. And again, with the assistance of the US Marshals, they were able to find him and apprehend him."
Bland is charged with Stalking and Failure to Register, which are both felonies.
"It's wonderful," Monday said. "Now she can walk to school when she wants to, or needs to, and not be terrified."