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Police ask Michigan man trying to catch sexual predators to stop

Posted: 5:29 PM, Jun 16, 2016
Updated: 2016-06-16 17:29:39-04

It's a thrill for viewers, and an arguably greater thrill for the man recording encounters with alleged sexual predators.

And although 23-year-old Zach Sweers' videos have helped investigators arrest at least seven people, Grand Rapids police are now asking the "video vigilante" to stop, because of safety concerns.

Since December, Sweers has posted several videos on his YouTube channel, Anxiety War, in which he confronts people after posing as a child online and arranging meetings with them.

In one video posted May 1, Sweers confronts a man who reportedly agreed to meet at a Grand Rapids restaurant, thinking he was talking to a 14-year-old girl. That video has more than a million views. The channel has more than 164,000 subscribers.

Despite the large online appetite for Sweers' video vigilante work, police have asked the young man to cease and desist, saying it puts him and others in danger.

In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Sweers write, "I do not want to become a police officer. I'm simply a man who finds the need to bust predators," adding, "This is what the public wants. This is what the public needs and this is what the public deserves."

Sweers also said in one of his recordings, he has no intention of stopping. He did not immediately respond to Action News' requests for comment.