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Authorities search for sex offender they say touched young girls at Valrico Walmart

VALRICO — Authorities are searching for a sex offender they say touched six young girls Saturday afternoon inside a Walmart.

Authorities issued two warrants Sunday charging Robert P. Smith, 40, of 818 18th St. SW in Largo, with lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under 16.

Smith walked up to the girls about 3 p.m. at the store at 1208 E Brandon Blvd. and touched them on their buttocks over their clothing, according to Hillsborough County sheriff's officials.

The father of an 11-year-old Lakeland girl confronted Smith, authorities said, and Smith later left the store.

Detectives found surveillance footage of Smith touching the girls, officials said. After deputies identified Smith, Largo police visited his home but were unable to locate him.

Smith is registered as a sex offender for a 2000 conviction in Pinellas County of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under 16, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

He may be driving a maroon or burgundy Ford pickup truck with Florida tag RFU11.

Anyone with information on Smith's whereabouts should call the Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200.

Authorities search for sex offender they say touched young girls at Valrico Walmart 12/19/10 [Last modified: Sunday, December 19, 2010 8:27pm]

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