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N4T Investigators: Catfish Vigilante – Update

TUCSON – A man who tries to catch sexual predators on the internet wants police to do more about his videos.

He pretends to be a child on chatting and dating apps, and he sets up sexual meetings with men. He uploads the videos to Facebook.

He wants to remain anonymous to protect his work.

He met Cecil Lipps at a Sierra Vista motel last October. Police immediately arrested Lipps. He was indicted on charges that included sexual exploitation of a minor, even though the minor was not real.

“Which is how it should be,” the man said.

He said he arranged seven meetings in the City of Tucson. He set up the same man twice.

“If I caught him twice, how many kids were actually out there with him in that time frame? It’s just unreal,” the man said. “It’s very, very scary.”

Tucson police have issued two arrest warrants related to the meetings, but the man behind the videos said he did not know about the warrants. His videos gained popularity last October. He said he was told the cases were under investigation.

“Maybe extremely slowly,” the man said, “but I think they should be arrested right as I hand over the evidence.”

Tucson police did not have a detective available for an interview on the cases.

The man said it is getting more difficult to arrange meetings. He believes it is because of his videos, which he said is a good thing.

Sam Salzwedel

Sam Salzwedel is an investigative reporter at News 4 Tucson – KVOA.

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