Sex-predator hunters on YouTube help NJ cops catch another suspect
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Another child luring case in New Jersey and another attempt by residents to try and catch these online predators. This one happened Sunday, July 24 in Egg Harbor Township.
Police responded just before 6 p.m. to a boat slip at Graef’s Boat Yard on Longport Boulevard for a report of an attempted child luring.
The patrol was met on the scene by two men who operate a YouTube channel for the sole purpose of catching child predators. The pair go onto dating websites, create accounts and pose as juvenile females.
The vigilantes had communicated via email and text message with a man later identified as Roger Tomes, 57, of Philadelphia.
Tomes had lured whom he believed to be a 15-year-old girl to meet him on his boat to engage in sexual and other illegal activities, police said.
Warning: This video contains adult language
Tomes was arrested and charged with second-degree luring. He has since been released from custody as he awaits court proceedings.
If convicted, he could face between 5 and 10 years in prison and a $150,000 fine.
New Jersey 101.5 has reported on a handful of cases throughout the state over the past couple of years involving residents attempting to catch online predators themselves.
With each case, officials have advised against these vigilante actions.
A warning last month from the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office noted an uptick in citizens attempting to lure suspects to public locations so they could be arrested.
While the trend really has not impacted Monmouth County, Prosecutor Lori Linskey has urged people to leave the police work to the professionals.
Earlier this year, a YouTube personality out of Middlesex County was arrested after his attempt to catch an online predator turned violent.