A 32-year-old man in California was arrested after he allegedly kidnapped a teenage girl, who had been trying to entrap him in an amateur sex sting operation.
Robert Dreyfus, 32, was booked Sunday on suspicion of kidnapping, sending harmful matter to a minor and communication with a minor for specific offenses.
Authorities say Dreyfus was the target of an amateur sex sting operation by a group of teenage girls, who wanted proof he was trying to hook up with underage girls. They intended to turn the information over to law enforcement.
The group made contact with Dreyfus on a social media app and exchanged text messages before arranging a meeting in Vista, Calif., according to sheriff’s officials.
During the meeting, officials say Dreyfus “convinced the 17-year-old victim to get into his vehicle to talk,” but he then allegedly drove away without consent.
The victim was able to message her friends for help, and they contacted authorities.
When authorities made contact with Dreyfus, he stopped his vehicle and let the 17-year-old out. She was not hurt.
“This was really dangerous and something that’s best left to professionals in law enforcement,” said Jan Ronis, a criminal defense attorney.
Ronis says the teens’ actions could complicate the criminal case.
“Normally, law enforcement runs these operations. The solicitation is recorded. The conversations and meeting places are surveilled. This is a bunch of kids,” he said.
The sheriff’s department released a statement, saying the public is strongly discouraged “from setting up meetings or contacting anyone for the purpose of catching an individual who is committing a crime.”
Dreyfus’ bail was set at $175,000. He is scheduled to appear in court next week.