ATLANTIC CITY — The number of child luring arrests in South Jersey stemming from help by vigilante YouTubers has reached double digits, police confirmed on Monday.

On Monday, the Atlantic City Police Department said that 17 men had been arrested for attempted child luring in a roughly two-week span with “assistance from concerned citizens groups.” Those arrested ranged in age from 23 to 77 — seven of them were New Jersey residents.

All the incidents involved a duo that operates two YouTube channels where they carry out “To Catch a Predator” style confrontations.

Their “unofficial” arrest assist count was even higher as of Monday.

“26 In 2 Weeks” is the title of a video montage of each man being confronted, set to the song “Something In The Way” by Nirvana.

“JUSTICE- Thank You Atlantic County Police, Prosecutors, & Shafiq,” added the video title posted by the Mr. Web channel. 

Shafiq, as name checked in that video, runs a separate channel, “Predator Catchers PA.”

For each video of an accused child luring confrontation, there appeared to be third-party assistance in calling police to respond to the site.

Civilian predator catch

New Jersey 101.5 had requested information from Atlantic City police on Thursday about additional luring arrests that involved such “citizen help,” after the first Atlantic City arrest and two in a neighboring town had all involved the same duo behind the Youtube accounts.

“The concerned citizens were engaged in posing as underage children on various social media sites. They would then confront the individual and notify police,” according to a written release issued early Monday evening.

Police initially confirmed the July 19 luring arrest of retired Pennsylvania teacher, Gerald Colapinto.

Egg Harbor Township police previously confirmed two, similar luring arrests involving the same citizen duo calling in officers. Raymond Effinger, 53, of Hammonton, was arrested for luring on July 27, days after the initial recorded confrontation.

The same citizens also called Egg Harbor Township police on July 24 with video evidence to prompt a luring arrest of Roger Tomes at Graef’s Boat Yard.

Each of the following individuals arrested by Atlantic City police was charged with luring/enticing a child by various means:

- Andrew Rheinheimer, 41, of Absecon

- Delbin Martinez, 28, of Atlantic City

- Bruce Cahan, 77, of Atlantic City

- Sidney Yee, 67, of Atlantic City

- Henrri Pacheco-Medina, 24, of Atlantic City

- Diego Delossantos, 27, of Atlantic City

- Colby Jones, 26, of Galloway

- Jonathan Shillingford Coll, 28, of Avondale, PA

- Gerald Colapinto, 65, of Yardley, PA (as previously reported)

- Avraham Holtzberg, 48, of Brooklyn, NY

- Joseph Donofrio, 31, of Yonkers, NY

- Juwin Jumpp, 26, of Vestal, NY

- Steven Wentzel, 51, of Williston, NY

- Alex Damian, 37, of Stamford CT

- Johnny Puma, 54, of Lexington, SC

- Nareshan Reddy, 34, of Vero Beach, FL

- Christopher Sharpe, 23, of Sweet Water, AL

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

All of the arrested individuals were being held at Atlantic County jail with the exception of Yee, who was issued a summons pending a future court date.

It was not immediately known where the remaining attempted luring arrests that the Youtube hosts referenced in Atlantic County in the same two week span had taken place.

Anyone with additional information is urged to contact the Atlantic City Police Department Criminal Investigations Section at 609-347-5766.

Information can also be sent anonymously via text to tip411 (847411). Begin the text with ACPD.

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

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

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