Utah group commits to catching online ‘creeps,’ but is their vigilante work illegal?

Posted at 5:12 PM, Jun 12, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY — A couple is taking matters into their own hands in their quest to stop child predators.

They call themselves “Creep Catchers,” and they pose as underage boys and girls online.

“It is a huge problem, and we are completely inundated with Utah creeps,” said one of the Creep Catchers who asked to be referred to as Jo. “In the last year, we have probably talked to 1,000 creeps.”

The Creep Catchers say the men who contact the decoys often begin sexually explicit conversations.

“We don’t message pedophiles first — they come to us,” Jo said. “The creep always leads.”

Often, the men ask to meet the decoy, who they know is underaged, for sex. That’s when the Creep Catchers go to the meeting place with a camera rolling.

“We are lending helping hands and we are trying to hand them [law enforcement] cases,” Jo said.

But the Creep Catchers say their efforts have not led to any arrests in Utah.

The Utah Attorney General’s office isn't thrilled with the work the group is doing. A spokesperson sent this statement to KSTU:

But Jo isn’t apologizing for her work, which she says has a personal meaning.

“I lost my virginity to a creep who was 25 when I was 13 years old. I want to prevent other children from feeling that way,” Jo said.

She understands law enforcement has their hands full with just how enormous this problem is.

“I can’t imagine, even with a staff of 100 people, they would be able to catch all of the creeps I’ve seen in Utah,” Jo said.

She has no plans to stop confronting these men to expose them and educate parents and kids about the dangers lurking on social media sites.

“They are scumbags, and I am here to expose them,” Jo said.

The Creep Catchers say they are not doing this for money. They ask anyone who wants to help to donate to agencies that protect children.