Police in Atlanta are warning Grindr users to be on alert following eight robberies that began as possible romantic matches on the gay dating app.
The robberies happened between February and May in remote locations throughout the city, all after victims set up dates on the popular app, Atlanta police said at a news conference Wednesday.
“After the date concludes, the suspect would then rob the victim, often taking their wallets, keys or even vehicles,” Sgt. Rodney Jones told reporters.
One suspect was identified as a black male in his late teens or early 20s, Jones said. The assailant typically has a handgun and robs the victims of their belongings after going on a “normal date,” he said.
As many as three suspects in all are being sought, police said.
One victim told police he was carjacked by someone he met on the app late last month, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
But the man’s would-be match pulled out a gun shortly after arriving, the newspaper reported.
“Give me the car and everything you got,” the robber reportedly said.
The suspect made off with the victim’s ride, which was later recovered, but no arrests have been made as of early Thursday, Atlanta police told The Post.
Officer Eric King, the department’s LGBTQ liaison, told anyone who is setting up a date online to notify friends in advance and to meet initially in a public place.
“Listen to your inner voice,” King told reporters. “We definitely don’t want people to be routinely victimized.”
Anyone with information about the string of heists, including victims who may have been robbed on other dates, should call Crime Stoppers Atlanta at (404) 577-8477.
A message seeking comment from Grindr reps was not immediately returned Thursday.