The Baltimore Police Department is investigating a pattern of armed robberies over the past several weeks that have targeted males via social websites and dating apps. One such app, Grindr, has been the network of choice, according to police.
Police say the suspects lured the victims to apartment buildings in Northeast Baltimore and robbed them. In two of the cases the laundry room in an apartment building was utilized and a black semi-automatic weapon was displayed. Two cars were stolen but later recovered.
The robberies occurred Oct. 25 and Nov. 6 on Loch Raven Boulevard, Nov. 10 on Hillen Road and Nov. 11 on Woodbourne Avenue.
“People will use whatever means they can and criminals will use online dating as an opportunity to get your stuff,” Baltimore Police spokesman T.J. Smith told WJZ-TV.
The suspects are described as follows: a black male, about 19 years old, 6 feet tall, 170 pounds, gray hoodie, red sneakers; a black male, about 20 years old, 5 feet, 11 inches, 170 pounds, beard and mustache, dark color bomber jacket; and a black male, 5 feet, 6 inches, 150 pounds, 19 years old, glasses, black North Face jacket.
Police offered the following tips to those who use web and apps for dating or shopping: Always meet in a well-lit public place and stay in a public place; send pictures of the person to your friends; daytime is better for first meets; cross check the person through other social media sites; stay sober; drive yourself; trust your intuition and ask questions, plenty of them.