Atlanta authorities are warning members of the LGBTQ+ community about men who are robbing victims they meet on Grindr.
In recent months, at least eight men have been robbed after meeting men on the popular gay dating app. In each instance, the men introduce themselves on the platform and begin chatting with unsuspecting victims. Eventually, they exchange phone numbers and arrange to meet, usually at remote locations. The suspect will then pull out a gun during the date and demand the wallet, keys, and vehicle.
One victim says that he picked up his date that he met on the app. The two drove to an area off Hightower Road. Not long after they arrived, the victim says his date retrieved a gun and demanded, “Give me the car and everything you got.” The suspect left in the victim’s vehicle, which was recovered later.
During a Wednesday news conference, Atlanta police called the robberies “a very concerning pattern.” Sgt. Rodney Jones says that the occurrences have taken place between February and May.
“The person typically has a handgun. They’re on a normal date, and after the date concludes, they’ll just rob the person of their belongings,” Jones said.
This week, investigators released photos of two suspects but warned that there could be more people involved. Most of the incidents have taken place in northwest Atlanta, but a few have occurred in Zone 3.
Atlanta Police LGBT liaison, Officer Eric King, advised that people should notify a loved one when meeting someone for the first time. He also suggests gathering in a public place during the first encounter and warns people to “listen to your inner voice.”