ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- A 64-year-old San Diego man jailed on suspicion of possessing child pornography and other sex crimes against children allegedly victimized patrons of his wife's day care center, police said Thursday.
"This is very devastating. This is a very sick individual," said Chief Craig Carter of Escondido police.
Abdullah Sediqi was arrested Wednesday in Escondido and booked into the Vista Detention Facility on suspicion of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14, a sex crime with a child 10 years or younger, annoying or molesting a child and 23 counts of possessing child pornography, according to Escondido police and jail records.
Carter said initially Sediqi was arrested when a woman caught him taking pictures up women's' skirts at a store in Escondido. He was let go on those charges, but investigators kept his phone. Detectives found some 6,000 images on Sediqi's phone, including some two dozen pornographic pictures of children.
"There are very graphic pictures of these three to five-year-old females," said Carter.
Detectives said six of the victims are little girls that attended Kids Castle Day Care in Rancho Bernardo, run by Sediqi's ex-wife. The home daycare located at 17472 Martinall Road has been in business since 2013. The victim's parents have been notified.
"You can imagine their shock. Tthey said 'they trusted this family and that even Mr. Sediqi himself said that we really appreciate you and that I would do anything for you or your children,'" said Carter.
"Occasionally I did see the father (Mr. Sediqi) wheeling kids in a stroller up and down the street," said an unidentified neighbor.
She also told FOX 5 the Sediqi's are from Afghanistan and were renting the home.
"They seemed quiet and happy or calm or whatever," said the neighbor.
Police said it was too quiet. Numerous computers, tablets and electronic devices were confiscated in a search of Sediqi's home.
"This is a case that we think is going to get bigger," said Carter. "We have certain concerns we may have other victims all way back to 2013."
Parents of kids who attend the daycare or attended in the past are encouraged to call Escondido police.
Sediqi is being held without bail at the Vista Jail.