A group of California teens plotted to get information on a man who allegedly wanted underage sex, but one of them ended up getting kidnapped instead, authorities said.
The three girls attempted a sting operation after using a social media app to contact an adult seeking sexual relations with minors, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Office. After exchanging texts, the girls arranged a meeting in a Starbucks parking lot.
During the meeting, the man, identified as 32-year-old Robert Dreyfus, was able to convince a 17-year-old girl to sit in his car "to talk," authorities said. He then sped away with the girl, who was able to text her friends for help, according to authorities.
The other two teens then called 911, and deputies were able to reach Dreyfus on his cell phone, the department said in a statement. He pulled over, and the girl got out of the car, authorities said. She was not hurt.
Dreyfus was arrested and charged with kidnapping, sending harmful matter to a minor and communication with a minor for specific offenses, according to the department.
"The sheriff's department strongly discourages the public from setting up meetings or contacting anyone for the purpose of catching an individual who is committing a crime," the statement said. "These types of situations can be extremely dangerous and should be handled by your local law enforcement agency."
The girls said they were trying to gather evidence to submit to authorities.
Dreyfus was released on $175,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court next week.