THE WASHINGTON POST:
The teenagers’ scheme was straight out of NBC’s “To Catch a Predator.” After meeting an older man online and learning that he was “looking for under aged girls to have sex with,” authorities said, they lured him to an anonymous Starbucks in the far-flung suburbs of San Diego, where they planned to expose him as a pedophile and hand him over to the cops.
But on Sunday afternoon, when the sting was supposed to take place, things quickly spiraled out of control. The intended target, 32-year-old Robert Dreyfus, convinced one of the teens to get into his car “to talk,” the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said. Then, he drove off with the 17-year-old girl.
Amateur sex stings targeting potential predators are a growing trend, and authorities are now pointing to Sunday’s alleged kidnapping as a prime example of why they’re a bad idea. Though cops soon came to the rescue – the 17-year-old managed to send a text message to her friends, who called 911 – officials warned on Monday that online vigilantes who try to stage public confrontations are putting themselves in serious danger.