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More Jersey Shore child predator arrests after PA vigilante help

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Police have announced at least a third child luring arrest in South Jersey within a week, stemming from assistance by citizens who make vigilante YouTube videos.

Egg Harbor Township police said they received a report of a man trying to meet up with a 15-year-old boy to engage in sexual activity on Sunday around 8 pm

The report was called in by a duo that operates two YouTube channels on which they carry out “To Catch a Predator” style confrontations.

The citizens posed as the teen and waited at a local hotel for the man to arrive, police said — where they confronted him while recording, before the man drove off in a car.

Police identified the man as 53-year-old Raymond Effinger, of Hammonton. He was found and arrested for luring on Wednesday evening, with help from Hammonton police.

Effinger was being held in Atlantic County jail, pending a court appearance.

If convicted, he could face five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.

Civilian predator catch Shore ‘spree’

Earlier on Sunday, the same two citizens called Egg Harbor Township police with video evidence to prompt a different luring arrest of Roger Tomes at Graef’s Boat Yard.

The duo also called Atlantic City police on July 19, when 65-year-old Gerald “Jerry” Colapinto of Pennsylvania was arrested for luring, as well.

Within the same time span, at least two additional videos have been posted, showing two other men separately picked up by Atlantic City police on reports of child luring.

An individual shooting the video for a partially titled clip “95” says it’s “catch number three tonight” and adds “Shout out to Atlantic City PD for caring about your kids.”

A similar “Shout out to the Atlantic City Police Department” was added to video of Colapinto’s confrontation posted to a different Youtube channel, where it was titled “Retired MATH TEACHER Pred Invited a Minor to his hotel and got arrested.”

“As of right now, we have five arrests here so far and I think seven or eight catches,” the individual says, adding that Pennsylvania “doesn’t arrest much,” so the Jersey Shore area has been his favorite place to carry out such grassroots, civilian operations.

“As of right now, we have five arrests here so far and I think seven or eight catches,” the individual says, adding that Pennsylvania “doesn’t arrest much,” so the Jersey Shore area has been his favorite place to carry out such grassroots, civilian operations.

A different video titled in part “#91 CASINO CREEP CATCH” shows a man that the citizen duo says was there to meet a 14-year-old girl.

While watching that man get into an Atlantic City police cruiser, the person recording hands out business cards to bystanders and says their vigilante confrontations are “like Chris Hansen.”

A request to Atlantic City police to confirm whether the other individuals picked up had ultimately been charged was not immediately answered on Thursday.

Law enforcement urge caution

About a month earlier, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office said it had been seen “an uptick in citizens attempting to lure individuals suspected of criminal activity to public locations.”

“Law enforcement officers are extensively trained on the proper methods to safely and successfully apprehend individuals suspected of criminal activity,” according to a written statement issued in June.

The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office also urged that the public leave such activities to police officers.

Anyone with additional information on the Effinger case was asked to email CID@ehtpd.com or Crime Stoppers by calling 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visiting the Crime Stoppers website.

Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.

Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her from ella at erin.vogt@townsquaremedia.com

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.

NJ teachers and educators caught in sex crime busts

Over the past few years, state lawmakers have taken on the challenge of dealing with accused child predators among the ranks of teachers and educators.

In 2018, the so-called “pass the trash” law went into effect, requiring stricter New Jersey school background checks related to child abuse and sexual misconduct.

The followed individuals were arrested over the past several years. Some have been convicted and sentenced to prison, while others have accepted plea deals for probation.

Other cases are still pending, including some court delays amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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