A California man was arrested for the kidnapping a 17-year-old girl after the teen and her friends tried to set up a sting to “expose” him as a predator who uses social media to solicit young girls for sex, police said.
According to NBC News, 32-year old Robert Dreyfus, 32, began exchanging text messages with a group of young girls, and they eventually agreed to meet him on Sunday near a Starbucks in Vista, California, about 42 miles northeast of San Diego.
Investigators said when the girls arrived, Dreyfus convinced the 17-year-old to get in his car so he could talk to her. He immediately drove off, authorities said. The teen was able to message her friends for help, and they called the police.
Police deputies were able to contact Dreyfus on his cellphone and convinced him to pull over. The teen fled his car unharmed, and Dreyfus was promptly arrested on charges of kidnapping, sending harmful matter to a minor and communication with a minor for specific offenses.
The victim and her friends told police that they had been using a social media site to contact an older man who was looking for underage girls to have sex with. The group said they wanted to “expose the male” and use the information they gathered to turn over to police, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
But now, the San Diego County sheriff’s office is warning others not to try and catch criminals in their own personal sting operations.
“These types of situations can be extremely dangerous and should be handled by your local law enforcement,” the sheriff’s office said in the news release.