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Man on sex offender registry charged after allegedly following boys in store

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SALT LAKE CITY — A registered sex offender faces new charges after police say he followed two boys around a grocery store while inappropriately touching himself.

Thomas Alexander Mallum, 57, of Thompson Springs, Grand County, was charged Friday in 7th District Court with lewdness involving a child by a registered sex offender, a third-degree felony.

On March 5, Price police were called to a grocery store on Main Street where a man was allegedly following two young boys around the store, according to a police affidavit.

One witness told police Mallum was grabbing his genitals over his clothes “while staring directly at two young children, who had been in the store with their mother while she shopped. The children were running around quite a bit while the mother was distracted shopping, and Thomas appeared to be following and paying close attention to the two children,” the affidavit states.

Investigators who later reviewed store surveillance video say the recordings did not directly show Mallum grabbing himself due to the angles of the cameras. “However, Thomas is observed continuously watching the two children at several different times while he is in the store. Thomas is also observed stepping out from nearby aisles, staring in the direction of the children, and then retreating back into that aisle,” and video evidence is “strongly supportive” of witnesses who claimed he did touch himself, according to the affidavit.

When officers arrived at the store, Mallum was just walking out and took off running when he saw police approaching, the affidavit states.

“The male began to drive away, when officers initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle, which appeared to be initially hesitant about coming to a stop,” according to the affidavit.

When questioned, Mallum initially told police he had an abdominal hernia and was applying pressure to it, the affidavit states.

In 2010, Mallum was convicted of unlawful sexual activity with a minor in Carbon County, according to court records. Since 1984, he has also been convicted in several states, including Arizona, Louisiana, California and Colorado, for indecent exposure or indecent behavior with juveniles, according to his profile on the Utah Sex Offender and Kidnap Registry.

Correction: A previous version stated Thomas Alexander Mallum lives in Thompson, Carbon County. He lives in Thompson Springs, Grand County.