Man allegedly befriends families, molests the children

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PHOENIX - Police have arrested a man who allegedly has been preying on families to get to their children.

According to police Joseph Edwards Roberts, 64, offers to assist families of parents who are homeless or just out of jail so he can watch their children.

Roberts lived in the West Valley, but police tracked him down Sunday morning in Cordes Junction where they arrested him.

He lured families with children through gifts, money and excursions before taking advantage and molesting their children.

Phoenix police believe Roberts has been running the operation for five years and at times would have up to six young girls living in his house.

Police were tipped off to the situation on Saturday after they received a report of a kidnapping.

Roberts faces charges of child molestation, public sexual indecency, sexual conduct with a minor, sexual abuse and aggravated assault.