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B.C. mom foils child-luring Snapchat suspect’s planned park meetup

Richmond RCMP says there could be more victims, asks them to come forward
The RCMP logo is seen on the shoulder of a superintendent during a news conference, Saturday, June 24, 2023 in St. John’s, Newfoundland. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

A man has been arrested in an attempted child-luring case, after a mom found out her child has been communicating with a man through Snapchat.

Richmond RCMP say they were called to the 4000-block of Moncton Street in Steveston on Wednesday (Feb. 21) around 6:30 p.m. for an alleged attempted child luring. Police say a mom had called police to say that a man had been communicating with her child through Snapchat and had asked the child to meet him at a local park.

The mom was able to prevent the meeting, and the man was detained until officers arrived, Richmond RCMP say.

The suspect was released from custody, but with several conditions, including no contact with the victims and their families. His other conditions include:

• No communication directly or indirectly, nor be alone in the presence of any person he knows to be, or who reasonably appears to be, 18 years or younger;

• Not to visit to any park, public swimming area, day-care centre, school ground, playground, community centre or theatre where anyone under the age of 18 is known to be present;

• Not working or volunteering that could involved coming into contact or supervising anyone under the age of 18;

• Not using a computer network to communicate, or attempt to communicate, with anyone he knows or appears to be under the age of 18

Mounties say there could be other children who may have been in contact with the man, and they’re looking for anyone to come forward with information. He is known to frequent parks in the Steveston area.

“This investigation also highlights the importance of maintaining open communication with your children about their personal safety and use of social media,” Insp. Michael Cohee said.

The investigation is ongoing.

RCMP also took the opportunity to remind parents to be aware of their child’s digital life. Some tips for staying safe online include: keep personal details to a minimum, turn off location services and only accept friend requests from people you know.

READ MORE: B.C. to limit cellphone use in schools, take action against extortion

This latest warning from police comes a month after Premier David Eby said the province would be taking action against sextortion in the province. That action includes asking school districts across the province to develop policies to restrict cellphone use during school hours.

In B.C., there have been two highly publicized cases of teens dying by suicide following sextortion threats.

READ MORE: Man in Nigeria charged in sextortion of late Surrey teen

Lauren Collins

About the Author: Lauren Collins

I'm a provincial reporter for Black Press Media's national team, after my journalism career took me across B.C. since I was 19 years old.
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