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MySpace user arrested in Thousand Oaks stalking

Saillant is a Times staff writer.

A Michigan man is facing a stalking charge after he showed up at the door of a Thousand Oaks woman he had been sending unwanted messages to for more than a year on the social website MySpace, Ventura County authorities said.

George Costales, 39, was arrested Wednesday and is being held in the main Ventura County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail, officials said. He faces a single count of felony stalking.

Costales sent messages to the woman over the last year even though she repeatedly attempted to block his access to her MySpace profile, said Det. Eric Buschow of the county Sheriff’s Department.

In recent months, he began sending video clips of himself that included comments of a graphic sexual nature, Buschow said. He also told the woman that he intended to move to California to be with her, the detective said.

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He declined to identify the alleged victim, but said she is an adult who did not seek Costales’ attention. MySpace gives users the option of blocking other account holders and the woman attempted to do that, Buschow said.

“This was very one-sided on his part,” Buschow said. “She blocked him at least five different times, but he managed to get around that and continued to contact her.”

Several days ago, Costales told the woman that he was selling his welding business and moving to California because he loved her, Buschow said. He told the woman that he had read poems on her MySpace page and believed that she had written them for him, Buschow said.

“This was unwanted and unprovoked,” he said. “She was physically sick over this.”

On Wednesday morning, Costales allegedly showed up at the door of her Thousand Oaks home. The woman wasn’t there, but her boyfriend recognized the man from the MySpace postings and wrote down his license plate number as he drove off, investigators said.

Sheriff’s deputies then used the Internet to lure Costales back to the woman’s home that night, and he was taken into custody, Buschow said.

“We put messages on his site to make him come back,” he said. “And he did, roses in hand.”

Buschow said Costales has a criminal record in Michigan but did not provide details. He was not carrying a weapon when arrested, Buschow said.

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catherine.saillant @latimes.com


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