By Peg McEntee
SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - A convicted sex offender in Utah stole an empty school bus and tried to pick up children in a small town before residents called police and he was arrested, authorities said on Thursday.
Patrick James Fredericksen, 30, found a list of names and directions aboard the vehicle when he stole it in Cleveland on Monday, said Janalee Luke of the Emery County Sheriff's Office.
He tried to convince one child to get aboard, but the child's father would not allow it, Luke said.
Fredericksen then asked a woman for directions to another child's house, but she also thought he looked suspicious and called authorities, police said. A sheriff's lieutenant quickly blocked the bus and arrested Fredericksen.
In jail, he broke a water pipe in his cell, flooding it and the booking area, police said. He faces two charges of theft of a vehicle, including for stealing another vehicle before he stole the bus, attempted child kidnapping, and damaging a cell.
In 2004, Fredericksen was convicted of a third-degree felony of unlawful sexual activity with a minor in Emery County and has been in and out of the Utah State Prison, according to the Utah Department of Corrections.
He was being returned to the prison near Salt Lake City on Thursday.
(Reporting by Peg McEntee; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Sandra Maler)