SAN MATEO, Calif. (KTVU) - A San Mateo police officer arrested after police said he allegedly chatted with a teenager online for the purposes of sex. San Jose Police’s Internet Crimes Against Children arrested 40-year-old Robert Davies at his home in Morgan Hill Thursday.
Police said they found evidence he connected with a minor on social media through apps like Tinder and Snapchat.
Police said they are looking for more victims. In a bizarre twist, the alleged victim in this case was a concerned citizen who posed as a juvenile and a San Mateo police officer is accused of taking the bait.
San Jose Police said they received an anonymous tip last month from a concerned citizen, who had actually posed as a 16-year-old girl online. Police said, the motive was to find pedophiles.
The citizen, under a fictitious account, spoke to a man about sex on various social media platforms like Tinder, Snapchat and Kik. During their interaction, the tipster told police the man said he was a Bay Area police officer.
“Whether or not the person is 16 is irrelevant, if the suspect believes it's a 16-year-old on the other end, the suspect should have terminated that conversation,” said Sgt. Garcia.
Dwight Ennis lived across the street and saw undercover officers swarm the neighborhood.
“I saw them come out with things that looked like computers,” said Ennis. “I saw them come out with brown paper bags full of evidence.”
As part of the investigation, police served a search warrant and hauled away electronic devices. Ennis didn't know Davies but called the allegations, if true, disturbing.
“Cops are people,” said Ennis. “You are going to have good cops and you are going to have bad cops. The good cops deserve all our praise and the bad cops deserve prosecution.”
In a statement, the San Mateo Police Chief wrote, “This alleged conduct, if true, is in no way a reflection of all that we stand for as a Department, and is an affront to the tenets of our department and our profession as a whole.”
Last month, Davies graduated from a leadership program for law enforcement. The San Mateo Police department had posted pictures and wrote a congratulatory tweet on Twitter.
San Jose Police said he could have faced additional charges had they set up an undercover operation for the officer to meet the juvenile. However, the tipster said they were going to turn him over to police. Davies has been placed on administrative leave.