Teen Justice Trolls vigilantes’ videos may have helped nab real child predator in B.C.

Steve Mertl
Daily Brew
April 29, 2012

So the Justice Trolls may have got their man after all.

RCMP in Chilliwack, B.C., about 90 minutes' drive east of Vancouver, have confirmed their investigation into a case of attempted child luring is linked to video taken by a group of costumed vigilantes who tricked a suspected pedophile into meeting them last year, the Vancouver Province reports.

The teenage crime fighters calling themselves the Justice Trolls hung up their colourful duds and took down videos of their encounters on the advice of police.

But on Tuesday, RCMP released a photo of a man allegedly using a computer to try and lure a young girl. Five hours later, the Mounties said they'd identified the man through tips from the public.

"A very short time after the release was sent, several tips were received from the public and the police were able to make an identification and can now take the necessary steps in furthering their investigation," RCMP said in a news release.

The photo reportedly matches a man featured in one of the videos posted on YouTubes last year by the Justice Trolls. According to the Province, in the video, a man using the screen name longfellow88 chatted with Chwk.Babe95 about a number of things, including sex acts. The video then shows a man being confronted at a playground by someone wearing a Batman costume.

The teens dressed as Batman, Robin, the Flash and the Green Lantern posted three videos before police told them to stop trolling for predators. They were not charged.

The gotcha moments were taken down but a YouTube video posted last fall shows the Trolls in a fast-food restaurant speaking to the members of the public and explaining their actions to a TV reporter.

The Province reported at least three people have been charged as a result of the videos but police would not confirm details.

"We're not speaking to the investigation until we tie up the most recent loose ends there," RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth said.

Despite the charges, Hollingsworth said RCMP can manage without their costumed helpers.

"We don't encourage or condone vigilantism," she said.