Lifestyle & Human Interest

Mom Thought Lonely Old Man Just Wanted to Chat, But He Was Arrested After Allegedly Making Her a Disturbing Offer


A convicted sex offender is behind bars after allegedly offering to buy a child at a grocery store in Florida.

Lauren Benning was approached by 85-year-old Hellmuth Kolb while shopping with her daughter at a Winn-Dixie on Aug. 16, WESH-TV reported.

The exchange began innocently enough, with Kolb complimenting Benning’s 8-year-old.

“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,” Benning said.

A second interaction took a far darker turn. Benning said Kolb approached the two once more as they left the store.

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“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. I’d like to buy her for $100,000.’

“I was in complete shock.”

In a remarkable twist, this isn’t the first time Kolb has gotten in trouble for attempting to purchase a child.

He is already on probation for a 2018 incident in which he grabbed a child in a Walmart, kissed her wrist and offered to buy her for $200,000. That incident landed him on the sex offender registry.

Kolb was picked up by police shortly after his alleged attempt to purchase Benning’s daughter.

The Port Orange Police Department arrested him for violating probation on Thursday.

Kolb is restricted from having contact with children as a condition of his probation. He also requires supervision in big stores and malls.

A court motion was filed to terminate Kolb’s probation earlier this month. A judge hasn’t ruled on that request yet.

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Kolb is being held without bond after the probation violation arrest.

Benning believes something is wrong with Kolb and wants him out of the community.

“He needs to be locked up and not allowed to be around our children,” the mom said.

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