Several men were arrested for possession of child pornography as part of a weeklong crime sweep through Broward County, authorities said.
Philip Wilmoth, 53, was arrested after he forgot something on the bus, Broward Sheriff’s Office Det. Jennifer Montgomery said.
"He left his phone on the bus, another bus rider picked up the phone, and trying to identify who the phone belongs to, looked through the content in the phone and saw some pictures that he thought were concerning and turned them over to BSO,” she said.
NBC 6 South Florida was there when Wilmoth was arrested Wednesday in Deerfield Beach. He said he had “no idea” why he was being arrested.
Detectives with the South Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force said they traced the phone back to Wilmoth's efficiency in Deerfield Beach.
It’s next to a home decorated for Halloween.
"Honestly, good point for you, that’s why parents, you guys need to be out there with your kids, don’t send them with the 13-year-old neighborhood child,” BSO Lt. Nadine Dunn said.
When a reporter asked Wilmoth if he has any kids of his own, he told her, "What does that matter to you? What you wanna have a kid?”
He then continued, “What, are you lonely? You get out much? You date? Got a husband? Yeah, OK."
In a second case Friday, Robert Carroll, 60, was arrested in Lauderhill. He told a reporter that he was not trading child pornography.
Nancy McBride of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said that every time someone looks at child porn, “it’s a revictimization.”
“We need to identify these kids, make sure they get the help they need. We’ve got a whole division at the National Center that does that,” she said.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children warns against thinking everyone who views child porn looks a certain way. Joshua Bickelhaupt – who was arrested Tuesday in a nice Pompano Beach home – is accused of the same crime, police said. He faces four counts, including three counts of possession of child pornography, according to online Broward court records.
Police said they hope these crackdowns prevent future tragedies.
"What we are afraid of and what we’re trying to deter is them taking that next step, crossing the line of where they actually will molest or do something to an actual live victim,” Dunn said.
Carroll faces 26 counts of possession of child pornography and is being held in the Broward County Main Jail on $260,000 bond, jail records showed.
Wilmoth faces 23 counts of possession of child pornography and is being held in the main jail on $150,500 bond, according to jail records.
It was not known whether the three defendants have attorneys.