North Carolina

Kids seeking candy trapped in NC store by sex offender, police say

NEWPORT, N.C. — A sex offender working at a North Carolina convenience store is accused of locking children inside the shop and robbing them.

Newport police Chief Keith Lewis told reporters that two children entered the shop near closing Sunday to buy candy and were trapped by 60-year-old Hector Sanchez, a registered sex offender from California. Lewis said Sanchez said he locked up because he was closing, but he then refused to let the kids leave.

He said the kids tried to buy candy with $20 that Sanchez pocketed. He said one of them called their mom, who alerted police.

The chief said Sanchez eventually released the children and was arrested on charges including kidnapping and failing to register as a sex offender in North Carolina. He said Sanchez admitted to the crimes.