132 arrested in Tampa Bay area child predator sting operation

POLK COUNTY, Fla. - A statewide crackdown led to the arrests of more than 130 men preying on children, according to Tampa Bay area authorities.

Top law enforcement officials from local agencies including Polk and Pinellas counties announced on Tuesday the results of a four-month long joint effort to lock up child predators.

Investigators said undercover detectives posed as children online and 132 men took the bait, thinking they were meeting up for sex.

"We've got a hot bed and a cot for you in the jail," Sheriff Grady Judd said Tuesday, pointing to a poster of 132 mug shots.

Many of the arrests are part of stings ABC Action News has reported on earlier this summer that law enforcement now say were part of a statewide operation.

Judd called it a wake-up call for parents.

"Know that these predators are out there. Know that they will walk up to your front door if the 12, 13, or 14-year-old says mom or dad is not home," he said.

Today's technology makes it easier than ever for predators to prey and for kids to find trouble.

Authorities are urging parents to get involved in every aspect of their children's lives.

"There is no fourth amendment in your home. You need to be all up in your child's business," Judd said.

The 132 arrests in the four-month operation included a postal worker, a pizza man, landscaper and even an employee at Disney.

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