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Connects Against Crime

Connects Against Crime

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Citizens Police Academy: Week 7

Updated: Thursday, May 1 2014, 11:47 PM CDT
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- If you're a parent, especially in this technology saturated world, you hope it's a message they never get.

However, if you think it's a message they'll never reply to, just consider the case of 23 year old Lucas Robinson of Cedar Rapids.

"I've never seen before or since then somebody do this on this scale," says Investigator Joe Schmitz with the Cedar Rapids Police Department.

Robinson, a college student at the time, was preying on young girls back in 2012

"He would randomly send a text message to a girl," Schmitz says. "He would find their number on Facebook, social networking. He got many girls to take naked pictures of themselves and send them to him."

Girls in Missouri, Maine, even as far away as Alaska were falling prey over and over again, and Lucas wouldn't let them out.

"I will publish the pictures on the internet, unless you send me more," Schmitz says Lucas would tell the girls.

This case is just a snap shot of what the task force deals with constantly, and they don't do it alone.

"We probably receive referrals 2 to three times a month," says Julie Kelly, a manager with the St. Luke's Child Protection Center.

The child protection center works hand in hand with CRPD to handle and investigate these cases. Kelly says the current trends are alarming.

"We see children at a younger age involved in these types of crimes," she says. "It can lead to difficulties at school, difficulties at home, and problems with personal relationships.

Schmitz says it forces parents like him to take the extra step.

"I know what my kids accounts are, I know what their passwords are," he says.

To him, it's not being a nosy parent - it's just being a good one.

"I may choose to log into your Facebook account, and it's not because I don't trust you, because honestly I do trust my kids," he says "This is not dad telling you what you can't do, this is dad making sure people aren't doing things to you."

Robinson was convicted on extortion charges. He was sentenced to 42 years in prison back in 2012. An appeal of his sentence was shot down earlier this year.  
Next week, we're taking a look at the department's Special Response Team (SRT). Join us every Thursday, right here on CBS 2 and FOX 28 for the Citizen's Police Academy.Citizens Police Academy: Week 7

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