Canandaigua, N.Y. (WROC) — The effort to identify and arrest sexual predators is an ongoing effort for the Canandaigua Police Department.
News 8 spoke with an undercover detective about a string of recent arrests Thursday in our Crime Tracker segment. To protect the detective’s identity, he did not appear on camera.
The detective said at any time of the day he can pick up his smartphone to engage a sexual predator across a variety of social media apps. “Here’s a social media app,” he said picking up his phone. “I logged on and within 30 minutes of talking to somebody I had an arrest.”
Police lead the predator to believe they are making contact with a 14-year-old. Then they set up a meet at a public location to nab them. “It can take maybe a week, a month, or 15 minutes.”
In just the last week, the Canandaigua police department has arrested five suspected sexual predators. “It’s boys. It’s girls. It’s not one of the other. These people are out here and it’s local, it’s everywhere, and it’s scary.”
Police say parents need to be vigilant. “Obviously talking to your children, sitting them down and explaining to them the dangers of these people, obviously monitoring their phones, monitoring who they’re with,” the detective noted the steps parents should take.
If you believe a predator is talking to your child contact your local police department. The detective said the danger is real and the problem is constant. “Until I started doing these types of cases I never realized how rampant it was. I mean you can do this all day long and make several arrests a week or a day. It’s that crazy.”