PORT ORANGE, FL – An 85-year-old registered sex offender out of Florida was arrested earlier in August after authorities say he attempted to “purchase” an eight-year-old girl in exchange for $100,000 at a local grocery store.

The incident reportedly occurred at a Winn Dixie in Port Orange on August 16th while a woman, identified as Lauren Benning, was out grocery shopping along with her eight-year-old daughter.

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During Benning’s shopping trip, she said she was approached by sex offender Hellmuth Kolb in what she initially thought to be a harmless interaction sparked by a lonely old man who was complimenting her daughter.

“He just came up and he started making comments about how pretty she was and how good her dancing was and how he could never have children and he wanted children.”

However, the interaction turned far more insidious according to Benning, as she claimed that Kolb “chased” her and her daughter into the parking lot to see if she’d be willing to sell him her young daughter.

“[Kolb] approached me in the parking lot. Actually chased me down in the parking lot and said ‘Hey, I want to make a deal with you. Iā€™d like to buy her for $100,000.’ I was in complete shock.”

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In a press release from the Port Orange Police Department, authorities confirmed that Kolb was taken into custody on August 25th following “a thorough investigation” into the original complaint Benning filed.

“Due to the parent’s clear concern that someone was insistent on attempting to purchase their daughter in a grocery store, we were notified. Unfortunately for him, we were able to confirm through his Probation Officer that Mr. Kolb is currently on probation for similar issues, and he is not to have any contact with minor children. Mr. Kolb should have simply stuck to just grocery shopping. Thanks to our SIU, Mr. Kolb did receive a complimentary ride in one of our air-conditioned Police cars, and a free stay at Hotel 92 (VCBJ). If you have had similar contacts with Hellmuth Kolb, please contact Detective Nugent at 386-506-5894 or [email protected]. We would appreciate any additional information that can be provided.”

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The “similar issues” mentioned in the Port Orange Police statement relates to Kolb’s 2018 arrest and eventual conviction of attempting to do the very same thing he’s accused of doing earlier in August.

On September 29th, 2018, Kolb was arrested after attempting to purchase an eight-year-old girl at a Walmart in Port Orange for $200,000 and had even assaulted the young girl when her mother attempted to flee.

During that 2018 incident, Tracy Nigh was sitting with her daughter on a bench inside of the Walmart when they were approached by Kolb and the indecent proposal was made. When Nigh tried to leave the area with her daughter, Kolb grabbed the young girl and kissed her wrist. Luckily, the two were able to get away from the predator and store security was able to hand over footage showcasing Kolb’s actions to authorities.

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