A group of teen girls succeeded in their attempt to trap an alleged pedophile in an amateur sex sting – but only after a harrowing bump in the road.
Vista, California police on Sunday arrested Robert Dreyfus, 32, on suspicion of kidnapping, sending harmful matter to a minor and communication with a minor for specific offenses, KGTV reported.
Dreyfus had been targeted by a group of teenage girls who apparently suspected him of being a pedophile.
The intention of the sting was to gather evidence that Dreyfus wanted to hook up with underage girls. The group planned to turn the information over to law enforcement, according to KGTV.
Sheriff’s officials say the teens arranged a meeting with Dreyfus following conversations on a social media app and text message exchanges.
Authorities said at one point during the meeting Dreyfus convinced one of the girls, a 17-year-old, to get into his car to talk. He then drove away without the consent of his passenger.
The victim messaged her friends, who contacted police, KGTV reported.
Authorities caught up to Dreyfus, and he released the victim unharmed.
“This was really dangerous and something that’s best left to professionals in law enforcement,”Jan Ronis, a local defense attorney told KGTB.
In a statement, the Vista sheriff’s department cautioned the public against setting up their own sting operations.
Normally, law enforcement runs these operations. The solicitation is recorded. The conversations and meeting places are surveilled. This is a bunch of kids,” Ronin said.
Dreyfus is scheduled to appear in court next week.