Online paedophile hunters Dark Justice say they confronted a South Shields man who thought he was meeting a 15-year-old boy - but he fled the scene before police could get there.
Earlier today Northumbria Police said they were now hunting the man, who Dark Justice say travelled to Newcastle believing he was meeting a 15-year-old boy following sexual grooming.
A statement on the Dark Justice Facebook page says: "At about 12 last night we caught a male from the South Shields area, he drove to Elswick, Newcastle to meet what he thought was a 15-year-old boy following sexual grooming but he was really talking to Callum (the co-founder of Dark Justice) who the male approached thinking it was the 15-year-old child.
"He sent images of himself holding his crotch and when confronted he denied it and got in his car slamming the door into one of our arms and sped off through a residential area in Elswick, all his details were passed on to the police shortly after."
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: "In the early hours of this morning we received information from the Dark Justice group concerning a man who they had arranged to meet in Newcastle.
"The man had fled the scene before the group was able to inform the police of the meeting and inquiries are ongoing to locate the man."
On their Facebook page Dark Justice now says the man has been found in Essex, but police were unavailable to comment this evening.