Grindr vigilantes apprehend alleged Perth child sex predator in sting

Grindr logo and a police car siren. Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne crime
Photos: Grindr/Supplied

Police have charged a Perth man with a child abuse offence after two vigilantes posed as a 14-year-old on Grindr and lured him to a park.

WA Police said a man in his 20s created the fake Grindr profile, pretending to be a 14-year-old boy.

The 61-year-old man from the south-east Perth suburb of Camillo then allegedly made contact via the profile.

After exchanging sexually explicit messages, the men arranged to meet at a park in Kelmscott last Thursday morning, police alleged.

At the park, the man in his 20s and a friend performed a citizen’s arrest on the 61-year-old. The duo then called police who took the 61-year-old into custody.

Police alleged they found the messages after searching the 61-year-old’s phone. They later searched his home and seized other electronic devices.

Armadale detectives charged him with intent to procure a person believed to be under 16 years for sexual activity.

They refused the 61-year-old man bail. He is due to appear in the Armadale Magistrate’s Court on November 3.

The two vigilantes told 9News they call themselves the “Perth Pedo Hunters” and described their actions as a community service.

The duo said they filmed the “downright disturbing” encounter with the 61-year-old and handed the footage to police.

WA Police urge caution with citizen’s arrest powers after Grindr sting

Under WA law anyone can make a citizen’s arrest if they suspect someone is committing an offence, but they must call police as soon as practicable.

A WA Police spokesperson warned citizen’s arrest powers “should be exercised with caution”.

“If all the required circumstances are not met, the member of the public could find themselves liable to prosecution of a serious offence,” the spokesperson said.

“We accept that people sometimes make decisions on the spur of the moment and sometimes the decision to pursue or apprehend a suspect may be the right decision, dependent on the circumstances and their own physical capabilities.

“But we ask the public to always consider their personal safety above everything else.

“If an offender is running away and you don’t know if they are carrying a weapon, not pursuing may well prove to be the best possible outcome.”

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