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Man allegedly tried luring child to Richmond, B.C., park using Snapchat, RCMP say

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Authorities have arrested a man who allegedly tried luring a child to a Richmond, B.C., park using Snapchat – and investigators believe he may have been in contact with other minors.

Richmond RCMP said a concerned mother reported that someone had been communicating with her child over the social media app, and that he had tried to arrange a meeting near Steveston Community Park on Wednesday evening.

In a news release, the detachment said the mother "interceded" in the meeting, and that a suspect was "detained until police arrived."

Investigators have since identified additional youths who may have been in communication with the suspect, and have asked any other families with information to contact the Richmond RCMP.

"We are issuing this alert so that parents, youth and the community as a whole are aware that police are actively investigating this matter and encourage anyone with information to come forward," Insp. Michael Cohee said in a statement.

"This investigation also highlights the importance of maintaining open communication with your children about their personal safety and use of social media."

Authorities encouraged parents to "be aware of their child's digital life," and to help them develop strategies to stay safe, including the use of privacy settings and limiting the amount of personal information they share in posts.

Richmond RCMP said social media users should also always reject friend requests from strangers.

The suspect arrested on Wednesday has since been released from custody under numerous court-ordered conditions, including that he not communicate with, or be alone in the presence of anyone under the age of 18.

Authorities said the man is "known to frequent parks in the Steveston area," but that another one of his conditions bars him from visiting any park, public swimming area, daycare centre, school ground, playground, community centre or theatre where minors "can reasonably be expected to be present."

Richmond RCMP has not released the man's name or any identifying details about him.

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