Teen's plan to expose suspected online predator goes horribly wrong

A teenager was allegedly kidnapped by a man in a failed plot she and her friends devised to expose him for contacting underage girls on social media for sex.

Robert Dreyfus, 32, met with a 17-year-old and her friends at a shopping centre in Vista, San Diego, on Sunday afternoon (local time), and after convincing the teen to get in his car, he allegedly took off down the road.

The teenager was able to alert her friends who then contacted police, with officers calling Dreyfus on his mobile phone and encouraging him to pull over, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said in a release.

The girl then fled on foot and police arrived at the scene a short time later and arrested Dreyfus.

The teen and older man met in this car park before the kidnapping unfolded. Source: Google Maps/Getty Images

“The actions by the deputies from the Vista Sheriff's Station led to the quick apprehension of the suspect and, more importantly, the safe return of the teenage girl,” police said in a statement.

Dreyfus faces charges of kidnapping, sending harmful matter to a minor, and communication with a minor for specific offences.

He was released on bail and is due to face court on October 15.

Detectives from the Vista Sheriff's Station said the suspect and victim were not known to each other outside of their communication through social media.

Investigations into the kidnapping are continuing.

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