SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KRON) — A suspected child molester was on the run for seven years living under fake identities before he was ultimately arrested this week, the Santa Clara Police Department announced Friday.
Daniel Payne Thomas, 34, was found in Shingletown, Calif., by Redding Police Department officers and Shasta County Sheriff’s Office deputies. He was booked into jail on 20 felony counts of lewd acts with minors under the age of 14 by means of force, violence, duress, menace or fear.
Police said the crimes occurred in 2015 in Santa Clara. At the time, Thomas was arrested, released from custody, fled out of the county, and never showed up for court proceedings.
“In 2020, SCPD located Thomas in Plumas County. At the time of his arrest, Thomas provided several aliases to avoid detection. Eventually, Plumas County Sheriff Deputies positively identified Thomas and arrested him. SCPD Detectives transported Thomas back to the Santa Clara County Jail for further criminal proceedings,” police wrote.
Thomas was released from custody again in 2020. He cut off his court-ordered ankle monitoring device and fled from Santa Clara County. Investigators said he lived under aliases in Shasta County until he was finally nabbed on Wednesday.
Thomas was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on Thursday, and this time, a judge denied granting the suspected molester bail.