VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) – A group of teenage girls attempted to set a trap for a 32-year-old man who tried to meet one of them for sex, according to San Diego County sheriff’s officials.
According to sheriff’s officials, deputies responded to a reported kidnapping at 1385 East Vista Way in Vista around 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
A group of juveniles told responding deputies they used a social media app to contact “an older man who was looking for underaged girls to have sex with. The group hoped to expose the male and turn over the information to law enforcement agencies for prosecution.”
Sheriff’s officials said the group made contact with Robert Dreyfus on the app and exchanged text messages. A meeting location was established at a shopping center at 1385 East Vista Way.
Officials said that “Dreyfus arrived and convinced the 17-year-old victim to get into his vehicle to talk,” but he then drove away with the girl without consent.
According to officials, the girl was able to message her friends for help, and they contacted authorities.
Deputies made contact with Dreyfus, and he stopped his vehicle near the 2000 block of East Vista Way. The girl got out of his vehicle and was not hurt, officials said.
Dreyfus was arrested by responding deputies and booked into Vista jail on suspicion of kidnapping, sending harmful matter to a minor and communication with a minor for specific offenses.
Online, hundreds of groups that set up stings, hoping to expose child predators.
“This was really dangerous and something that’s best left to professionals in law enforcement,” said criminal defense attorney Jan Ronis.
Ronis said the teens’ actions could complicate the criminal case.
“Normally, law enforcement runs these operations. The solicitation is recorded. The coversations, the meeting places are surveilled. This is a bunch of kids.”
Dreyfus’ bail was set at $175,000, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department's inmate information. He’s due to appear in court next week.