A California man was arrested for kidnapping a 17-year-old girl after the teen and her friends tried to set up a sting to “expose” him for using social media to solicit young girls for sex, police said.
The victim and some of her pals told police that they were 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.
The group said they began chatting with a man investigators identified as Robert Dreyfus, 32, and after exchanging text messages with him they eventually agreed to meet him on Sunday near a Starbucks in Vista, about 42 miles northeast of San Diego.
When they arrived, investigators said 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.
Deputies were able to contact Dreyfus on his cellphone and convince him to pull over. The teen fled the car and Dreyfus was eventually arrested.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Office said the victim was unharmed during the incident. The department warned others not to try and catch people who may be committing a crime.
“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.
Dreyfus was booked into the Vista Detention Facility on charges of kidapping, sending harmful matter to a minor and communication with a minor for specific offenses.
Minyvonne Burke is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.