While it’s admirable that young people want to stop pedophiles in their tracks, teens staging their own sting attempt is probably not a great idea. A group of California high schoolers found this out the hard way when the offered up a female classmate as bait and she ended up being kidnapped.
The plan probably sounded good in theory. The unnamed 17-year-old girl and her friends contacted 32-year-old Robert Dreyfus via social media. It’s unclear what caused them to believe that he was an “older man who was looking for underaged girls to have sex with,” but he was and the pair set up a meeting at a local shopping mall. The plan was for the girl to turn up, only for the whole group to ambush the man to give him to police.
Obviously, things went wrong. Things started going a little haywire when the girl agreed to get in Dreyfus’ car under the guise of “talking.” According to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office, Dreyfus then drove off with the girl in the car without her permission, suddenly turning him not into just a pervert but also a kidnapper.
Thankfully, police were able to stop him before the girl was harmed. The girl was able to text her friends with an SOS message and they immediately reached out to police, who were successfully able to pull over Dreyfus and arrest him. Talk about a lucky miss!
Dreyfus is facing serious charges now. According to the Washington Post, Dreyfus was booked into the Vista jail on “suspicion of kidnapping, sending harmful matter to a minor and communication with a minor for specific offenses.” It’s unknown whether he has a lawyer.
He’s out of jail already. Dreyfus posted $175,000 bail and is due back in court on Tuesday, ABC News reports. That’s a little bit scary to think about and is somewhat shocking that he wasn’t held without bail, but that’s the justice system for you, I suppose.
Teens, maybe leave it to the professionals. Sgt. Shane Watts said in a statement to the Times of San Diego, “The Sheriff’s Department strongly discourages the public from setting up meetings or contacting anyone for the purpose of catching an individual who is committing a crime. These types of situations can be extremely dangerous and should be handled by your local law enforcement agency.” If you suspect someone of a crime, notify the police and maybe leave off the vigilante justice for now.
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