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Group posts videos allegedly catching predators, police warn against ramifications

Posted at 7:20 PM, Apr 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-23 12:17:38-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — A video has surfaced on YouTube allegedly showing a vigilante group performing what they called a sting operation of a child predator. Though it isn't illegal to do these civilian stings, law enforcement is warning against the possible ramifications.

While the Kern County Sheriff's Office confirmed it is investigating the video and allegations, we are not identifying the subject in the video since they have not been arrested or charged.

Civilian predator busts are not unheard of, but in the age of technology, catching a criminal could be as easy as pressing record. That's the theory behind the group CC Unit, which stands for "Creep Catching."

The group has posted dozens of videos from around the country. They pose as minors on social media in an effort to catch child predators in the act.

The latest video from the group allegedly took place in Bakersfield.

Bakersfield Police said actions like this aren't illegal but fall under a grey area. BPD Sgt. Robert Pair said these operations could put civilians in a dangerous position and could impede law enforcement's investigation down the road.

The organizers behind CC Unit don't agree. They said in their experience, they've never run into a situation where police were worse off because they conducted a civilian sting.

CC Unit said they plan to continue operating civilian stings and providing a sort of vigilante justice.

As for the video, 23ABC will continue to follow the investigation into the allegations and provide any updated when they become available.