A man who got off a Fraser Valley Express bus in front of the Chilliwack Progress office Friday afternoon allegedly to meet a 13-year-old girl was in for a shock when he was greeted instead by the Chilliwack Creep Catchers.
The vigilante anti-pedophile group Creep Catchers are the controversial group that, in their words, “expose people in our community that are willing to have sex with children.”
The incident Friday happened when the Route 66 bus pulled up, a man – apparently from Vancouver according to witnesses – got off and greeted a woman with long blonde hair and a baseball cap, the bait posing as a young girl. He was then met by a group of five so-called Creep Catchers who filmed him and confronted him for trying to meet a 13-year-old.
Progress staff witnessed the entire transaction, which ended peacefully as the man eventually got back on the bus and left.
Various Creep Catchers groups across the Lower Mainland have garnered considerable press in recent years both for conducting stings that lead to charges, but also for their vigilante methods that police and Crown counsel often find too controversial to lead to charges, and sometimes end in violence.
Just last month the Chilliwack Creep Catchers allegedly busted a University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) instructor who thought he was coming to meet a 13-year-old boy at the downtown McDonald’s.
The group’s most high-profile catch in recent years was of Don Putt, an Agassiz man who was caught also in a McDonald’s coming to meet a young boy. That case led to a conviction and later charges and convictions from individuals who came forward with historic claims of abuse from the 1980s.
But the group has also received considerable criticism for its methods, even from others who aim to do similar work.