SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (CBS Local) — The arrest of 25 men for allegedly trying to have sex with children in Florida has prompted a new warning to parents.
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said the men, arrested from July 17 to July 20 during #OperationInterceptVI, responded to internet ads, online apps or social media sites to engage in sexually explicit written and verbal conversations with sheriff’s deputies who posed as minors.READ MORE: South Florida Bride, Groom Crashers At Own Fort Lauderdale Mansion Wedding
“Unfortunately, the internet allows for easy and anonymous access to children by strangers who are hiding behind a computer screen,” said Sheriff Tom Knight.READ MORE: South Florida Rapper Baby Blue In Critical Condition Following Attempted Robbery Shooting In Davie
Knight updated the Sheriff’s Office list of apps frequently downloaded by children can be utilized by predators for purposes of exploitation.
The list, which was at nine as of last May, has now grown to include 15 applications, CBS affiliate WTSP reported.
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The Sheriff’s Office recommends that parents “have those tough conversations with your kids” to ensure they understand the dangers of being online and meeting with strangers.MORE NEWS: Broward Health Ending COVID Shots As Demand Decreases, Availability Increases
“One day they will thank you,” detectives wrote on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.