Two Perth vigilantes who caught an alleged child predator after pretending to be an underage boy on a dating app said within minutes of creating the fake profile they were inundated with messages.
The Armadale duo, who refer to themselves as ‘Perth Pedo Hunters’, told Nine News Perth how they lured a 61-year-old man to a park after posing as a 14-year-old boy on dating app Grindr.
They then filmed the entire confrontation and provided the video evidence to police, which resulted in the man being charged with child abuse offences.
The men say within five minutes of creating the hoax profile last week they received 30 messages from adult men in Perth asking for sexual encounters with the fake teenager.
“The way we look at it is; if it wasn't us it could actually be a 14-year-old person meeting that adult so, I’d rather it be us than some innocent kid,” one of the men, who asked not to be named, said.
“How can someone who’s a full-grown adult, prey on someone who's not even fully developed yet, a child? It's just not right, it’s downright disturbing.”
Copies of a Grindr conversation obtained by Nine News Perth are alleged to be between the two men and the 61-year-old man.
Most of the content is too graphic to publish, but the men stated twice in the conversation that the subject, who they named ‘Jarrod’, was underage.
“Yeah I'm 14,” ‘Jarrod’ wrote. “I love young,” the man allegedly replied.
“You don't mind I'm only 14?”, ‘Jarrod’ responded. I am kool ... R U free now babe? (sic)” the man replied.
“Well I'm home alone coz mum and sister just left to go to my aunties for the day (sic),” ‘Jarrod’ typed.
The man was allegedly undeterred and they agreed to meet at Creyk Park in Kelmscott on Thursday morning.
The men confronted the 61-year-old and called police, who arrived within minutes, seizing the man’s phone and raiding his house for electronic equipment.
He has since been charged with intent to procure a person believed to be under 16 years for sexual activity and was refused bail.
The pair said they were carrying out vigilante activity to help the community, and would continue to hunt for child predators online.
Last week the pair filmed another two men who they claimed tried to engage their fake underage account for a sexual encounter, with one of the men breaking down and confessing.
“OK I've screwed up I know that,” he said. “I really like feel bad about myself. It was like a one-time stupid ... I'm sick.”
“You are sick, in the head mate,” the vigilantes replied.
The self-proclaimed ‘Pedo Hunters’ said parents needed to be aware of what their kids did online.
“These are the kind of people that are trying to talk to your children,” the men said.