Even with Craigslist personals section out, police warn parents about online predators

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO – Craigslist recently shut down its personals section. But even with the change, police say families need to be on guard for sexual predators.

The move by Craigslist came after Congress passed the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, which is intended to combat child sex trafficking by holding websites more accountable for content posted by users.

St. Louis County Police Department Officer Benjamin Granda said Craigslist was the source of many local cases involving sexual predators.

“That’s a where a lot of this activity was taking place,” he said. “When Craigslist got rid of their personals section, that was a pretty big deal.”

Recently, a Ladue man was charged with enticement or attempted of a minor.  The alleged incident happened in late 2017 before the personals section shut down.

Police report that the man, 34, posted an ad on Craigslist for a “taboo” sexual relationship. He appeared at a designated location to meet the person with whom he was corresponding.

Problems still persist, Granda said. Predators will use other sites and platforms to lure victims.

Some warning signs for parents, from St. Louis County Police:

  • Children spend large amounts of time online
  • You find pornography, private email, and chats on your computer
  • Suspicious long distance phone calls on your telephone bill
  • Unknown phone numbers on your mobile phone
  • Your child uses someone else’s online account or a hidden account

Parents are urged to talk to their children, set clear limits on online use and encourage their children to share what they are doing online. Also, keep the computer in a common area and review the contents of the computer on a regular basis.

“Hopefully people aren’t overly comfortable with their, or their kids’ use of the internet. The communication, the ease of it. You can access most people, most anywhere,” Granda said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.


Latest News

More News