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Atlanta Police Warn of Grindr Robbery Spree

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Friday May 7, 2021
Originally published on May 7, 2021

Police in Atlanta, Georgia, have issued an advisory for Grindr users to be careful in the wake of at least eight instances in which men using the popular dating app were lured to out-of-the-way places and robbed, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

Police say there could be as many as three suspects using the same motive around the city. In each case, the suspects used fake profiles (complete with photos of men other than themselves), engaged their victims in conversation, and then arranged for in-person meetings.

"After the date concludes, the suspect will rob the victim, often taking their wallets, keys or even vehicles," Sgt. Rodney Jones of the Atlanta Police Department said.

In one instance, a victim "said he was carjacked by someone he met on the app after picking up the suspect and driving him to an area off Hightower Road. Shortly after they arrived, however, his date pulled out a gun and told him: 'Give me the car and everything you got.'"

The police do have at least one lead, the article related. "Investigators said they have linked multiple robberies to a specific Grindr profile," though they did not provide further details due to the ongoing investigation.

Another APD officer, Eric King, offered these safety tips: "Find a partner or a friend that you trust that you can notify when you're going to meet somebody."

King also suggested that Grindr users meet dates "at a public place before you reconvene somewhere more intimate."

"Listen to your inner voice" about a situation, King advised.

"If someone refuses to FaceTime before a first date or insists on meeting in an isolated area, it might be a setup," the article added.

Criminals have used hookup apps in the past to lure victims and rob them - or even murder them, as reportedly happened in Detroit in March, when a suspect robbed one Grindr date and killed another.

In February, an ex-con with a history of violence allegedly used the app to lure a gay man in Houston, Texas, with the intention of robbing him. The situation resulted in the victim's murder.

In one of the more bizarre instances of Grindr being used to lure a victim, an Australian suspect reportedly made contact with an older man, arranged to meet him, and then subjected him to hours of physical and psychological torture because he believed the man to be a sexual predator.

Men's Health offers safety tips for users of Grindr and other dating apps.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.