A West Dundee man is accused of arranging to meet a 15-year-old girl for sex in Berwyn Friday, only to find out the "girl" was actually an undercover police officer, according to the Cook County State's Attorney Office.
Heath T. Locum, 44, of the 700 block of South Street, was charged with traveling to meet a minor and indecent solicitation of a child, said Tandra Simonton, a spokeswoman in the state's attorney office. Both charges are felonies.
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His arrest was part of an ongoing investigation conduced by members of the Cook County Crimes Against Children Task Force in conjunction with the Berwyn Police Department.
Locum initially contacted the "girl" after meeting her via an online ad, Simonton said. From Oct. 5 through Friday, he sent her sexually explicit texts messages and emails, Simonton added.
Locum arranged to meet up with the teen at Cermak Plaza Shopping Center in Berwyn and was arrested as soon as he arrived on the scene Friday, Simonton said. Police said he drove nearly 40 miles from West Dundee to Berwyn to see the girl.
"When he came to meet the victim, he met the police," said Michael Cimaglia, a division commander with the Berwyn Police Department.
Locum's bail was set Sunday at $300,000 and he is scheduled to appear in court Thursday in Maywood.
Police remind parents to monitor their children's' Internet activity. They also said children should be mindful of what they're doing online.
"Children need to be careful of the predators that are lurking behind whatever fictitious email address that they make up," Cimaglia said.