Bay Area teens use fake Tinder account to help catch child exploitation suspect

Bay Area

BRENTWOOD, Calif. (KRON) – A group of teenagers in East Contra Costa County are behind an initial investigation into a man who was just arrested this week on federal charges of child exploitation.

They made a fake Tinder account, met up with the man at a coffee shop, and confronted him — All before police took over the case.

It all started here at Starbucks in the streets of Brentwood shopping plaza.

Three teenagers confronted the defendant right here, he took off running and after more than a year of investigating. He’s now behind bars.

Three East Contra Costa County teenagers created a fake Tinder profile posing as a 14-year-old girl they named “Kelsey.”

This was back in October of 2019.

A man, now known as Jeremy Adams, swiped “right,” meaning he was interested in speaking to the young girl.

According to the criminal complaint, the 44-year-old man expressed his desire to make “Kelsey” his “sex slave” and said he “kind of loved that” she was 14 and in high school.

They talked for two weeks before agreeing to meet at this coffee shop off Sand Creek Road in Brentwood.

According to the complaint:

“As soon as Adams entered the Starbucks, the male juveniles confronted him and ultimately chased him through the Streets of Brentwood while recording him. The juveniles confronted Adams about the fact that he was there to pick up a 14-year-old girl, but Adams never responded to them and continued to run until he fell into a creek. At one point, Adams climbed out of the creek and headed toward an elementary school where Adams was again cornered by the juveniles. During an altercation there, Adams placed one of the juveniles in a headlock.”

This is when Brentwood Police arrived. An investigation into Adams began.

It was discovered that he had traveled out of state to meet with an underage girl. They found evidence that he had sexually abused her at an airport hotel.

Authorities say they’ve been looking for Adams since last November but that he was difficult to track down, using “ruse IP addresses” to evade arrest.

Brentwood police say it wasn’t until they sent a note to his mom’s house saying that he needed to pick up property at the police station that he was finally taken into custody.

That was on Tuesday.

Authorities are still investigating the possibility that there are additional victims.

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