3 local men nabbed in child predator stings

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Watch the report from Bob Brooks on Action News at 4 p.m. on August 22, 2017.

Three local men were arrested during an operation targeting child predators online.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General's office announced the arrests on Tuesday.

The suspects are identified as William Novitski and Apithai Pikrohkit, both of King of Prussia, and Nafiz Tahmid of Philadelphia.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro said his office has a message for any others wanting to harm children.

"We will hunt you down, find you, lock you up, and do everything we can to make sure the children in Pennsylvania are safer with you off the streets," he said.

Shapiro says his investigators were able to engage the suspects on popular social apps by posing as teen boys and girls.

The suspects would allegedly try to meet with them, only to show up and realize it was a sting.

Shapiro says parents and guardians need to know this is where predators are targeting children for sex.

"We have a responsibility - and I'm the father of three young kids - to know what our kids are doing online to do everything we can to keep them safe," he said.

According to the arrest reports, in each of the cases undercover agents made it clear to the suspect they were agreeing to meet with a minor.

Novitski and Pikrohkit allegedly agreed to meetings with agents posing as 14-year-old boys, while Tahmid allegedly agreed to a meeting with an agent posing as a 13-year-old girl.

The attorney general's office said that, in most of these cases, the suspects would admit knowing what they were doing was wrong, but they still went through with it.

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