Municipal staffer involved in alleged inappropriate texts, say B.C. ‘creep catcher’

Bob Andrews is on leave from his position with the Township of Langley

A senior staffer at Langley Township was videotaped by a “creep catcher” organization in Surrey after allegedly engaging in inappropriate online conversations with someone he thought was an underage teen girl.

The Safe Child Coalition, formerly known as Surrey Creep Catchers (SCC), videotaped a conversation with Bob Andrews, the economic development coordinator at the Township.

On the video, Andrews acknowledges that he had a series of online conversations with someone he thought was a girl. Andrews says he thought she was 18.

Screen captures of text conversations, allegedly between Andrews and the girl, show them discussing her turning 14.

“I know that it was a stupid thing to do,” Andrews says on the video, posted on the SCC website.

He said he made an appointment to meet the girl, “and then I sent a message to her and said that I wouldn’t.”

“Thursday night, I started thinking what am I doing, I shouldn’t even be doing that,” Andrews said on the video.

Ryan LaForge, head of the SCC, confirmed that he met and spoke to Andrews at Surrey’s Guildford Shopping Centre on Wednesday afternoon.

“He was there to give his side of the story as to his part in communications with a 13-year-old child – not to meet,” LaForge wrote in an email to the Langley Advance Times.

The “girl” was LaForge using an online alias, he said.

On the video, Andrews speaks for nearly half an hour to LaForge.

Surrey RCMP were unaware of a report being made to police of the incident, said spokesperson Cpl. Elenore Sturko.

LaForge said he would be sending information to the police.

Andrews is currently on leave from his job at the Township, according to Steve Scheepmaker, director of corporate administration at the Township.

“We recognize the seriousness of what has been alleged, and the Township will take steps, as appropriate, having regard for due process and in consideration of its role as an employer, the public interest, and the privacy rights of individuals,” Scheepmaker said in an email to the Advance Times.

“To our knowledge, there is no related RCMP investigation but the Township would cooperate fully if requested by the RCMP.”

The Advance Times attempted to contact Andrews by email and phone, but was unsuccessful.

The video was apparently posted Wednesday by LaForge, who founded Surrey Creep Catchers in 2016.

LaForge said in a 2016 interview that he and other SCC members pose as children online, arrange to meet adults who think they’ve been communicating with a child, and videotape the confrontations.

LaForge pleaded guilty to two counts of assault stemming from attempted “citizen’s arrests” of Creep Catcher targets in 2017, and he announced he would be pulling back from attempts to arrest people, but would not end the stings.

Some of the stings have resulted in police investigations, charges, and even convictions, including that of former Surrey RCMP officer Dario Devic, who pleaded guilty to breach of trust after a 2016 sting.

The group has drawn criticism from police and some government officials for its tactics.

LangleySurrey

Just Posted

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Hospital’s Chief of Staff asks residents for help containing COVID-19

Invermere & District Hospital Chief of Staff says COVID-19 cases here, caution and care needed

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

MP Morrison touts non-partisan effort to provide relief amid COVID-19 pandemic

The federal government has announced a slew of economic initiatives for those impacted by the pandemic

Burning restrictions to lower risk for COVID-19

Province issues burning restrictions to help everyone breathe easier

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Most Read