Convicted sex offender attempts to pick up child in stolen school bus, police say

Posted at 9:42 PM, Apr 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-22 23:42:59-04

EMERY COUNTY, Utah -- A convicted sex offender managed to steal a school bus in Emery County then tried to use the bus to pick up a little girl outside her house on Monday, according to the Emery County Sheriff's Office.

The suspect in this case is 30-year-old Patrick Fredricksen. He is a registered sex offender living in Ogden but grew up in Emery County according to Lt. Gayle Jensen.

On Monday afternoon Fredricksen was working for a landscaping company installing sod at a baseball complex in Huntington when one of his co-workers said he began acting strange and then just decided to walk off.

According to the sheriff's office, after leaving the baseball complex Fredricksen went to nearby Heritage Funeral Home. An employee there said he remembered seeing Fredricksen but thought he was just making funeral arrangements.

Later that employee realized his SUV was missing. Jensen said Fredricksen stole the SUV and then drove to an isolated, remote location between Elmo and Price. It was there that he came across and stole a school bus parked outside a home.

In both of these thefts the keys were left inside the vehicles. The school bus belonged to the Emery County School District, and according to the district, it is common practice for bus drivers to keep the buses at their homes.

Inside the bus was a list of stops and routes. Apparently Fredricksen followed one of these routes to the town of Cleveland, which is when he encountered a little girl outside her house.

"He did stop at one residence and tried to pick up a young child, the father intercepted that and he went on down the road at which time he met a person and asked for another address," Jensen said. "She was very suspicious about that so she called that in and at that point we responded to that area and was able to bring this to a conclusion."

Fredricksen is facing two charges of theft of a vehicle and attempted child kidnapping. According to Jensen Fredricksen was wanted by police on a parole violation and he did not have permission to be working in Emery County.

Following the arrest, Jensen said Fredricksen broke a pipe to the sprinkler system inside the Emery County Jail. This caused his jail cell and the booking area to be flooded.

He also faces another charge of damaging a jail cell. Fredricksen remained in the county jail as of Wednesday night.

Ward Landscaping, the company that hired Fredricksen, said they had no idea about his criminal past. They also said because of this they plan to revamp their hiring process when it comes to background checks.