12-year-old home alone spots sex offender, parolee attempting to break-in: Deputies

A registered sex offender who was on parole for kidnapping was arrested Sunday in Twentynine Palms for allegedly attempting to break into a residence where a 12-year-old was home alone.

Deputies responded to the residence, located in the 75900 block of Amboy Road, around 4:30 p.m. to conduct a welfare check on a 12-year-old girl. According to the Morongo Basin Sheriff's Department, the child was alone at her residence and observed an unknown Hispanic male adult attempting to enter the home. Upon deputies' arrival, the man was gone.

Deputies located the suspect, 31-year-old Steven McLaughlin, approximately one mile east of the victim's residence on Amboy Road. Authorities said McLaughlin was on parole for kidnapping and is a registered sex offender. Investigators confirmed he was the same suspect who had attempted to break into the home. McLaughlin had been released from jail two days prior to the break-in, officials said in a press release.

McLaughlin was arrested and booked at the Morongo Basin Jail, for attempted burglary, parole violation and violation as a sex offender.

Anyone with information related to the investigation is asked to contact the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department Morongo Basin Station at 760-366-4175. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may contact We-Tip at 1-888-78-CRIME.