James Graves, sex offender, burglarizes home to steal photo of twelve-year-old girl

James Graves has reportedly admitted to burglarizing a Grand Junction home and taking only one item -- a photo of a twelve-year-old girl.

What makes this strange tale considerably creepier? The 29-year-old Graves is a sex offender who was convicted a couple of years ago in a case involving...a twelve-year-old girl.

This story comes to us from the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, which reports that back in June 2009, Graves was rooming with the father of a twelve-year-old daughter then staying at the home of her grandmother. And that's where he was arrested at about 3 a.m. on June 24, after allegedly trying to break open the window of the bedroom where the girl was sleeping.

This action earned Graves five years of sex-offender-specific probation after he pleaded guilty to attempted sexual exploitation of a child and trespassing. However, the treatment appears not to have stuck, given what happened earlier this month.

On October 12, the Sentinel notes (citing an arrest affidavit), a woman contacted police after noticing that a framed photo of her twelve-year-old daughter wearing a soccer uniform was missing from its usual spot in her living room. In looking into this complaint, the cops discovered that Graves had been living just a few doors down from the house in question but had recently moved -- and when questioned a few days later about the missing keepsake, he's said to have admitted breaking into the place and swiping it.

Graves didn't know the girl, he told an investigator, but he had seen her outside washing a car. When asked if he snagged the photo (which he insisted he'd subsequently discarded) because he was attracted to her, he's quoted as replying, "Yeah, I suppose so.... You could say that."

Evidence that he was telling the truth was found on his computer, which featured a video of the twelve year old marked by close-ups of the "girl's privates," to quote the paper. Also stored there were more than fifty photos of children characterized as sexually exploitative.

These actions led to Graves's arrest on suspicion of misdemeanor theft, second-degree burglary and, for good measure, failure to register as a sex offender. Look below to see a larger version of his booking photo.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Photos: Colorado's top twenty most wanted sex offenders."

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