String of Chicago robberies targeting users of dating apps

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CHICAGO — Chicago police said Friday they are looking for a suspect or suspects using a dating app to lure victims to hotel rooms where they use a stun gun to rob them.

According to police, there have been at least five robberies in the downtown area that all follow the same pattern in which suspects arrange on the gay dating app Grindr or other dating sites to meet their victims. Then, once the men are in a hotel room, the suspect displays a stun gun and demands money and other valuables. In at least two of the incidents, the suspect used the stun gun after the victims refused to hand over their property. In other instances, the victims turned over their property after the suspect threatened to use the stun gun.

Police said the robberies have occurred between Dec. 22 and Tuesday night of this week.

Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Grindr is cooperating with the investigation and “we have some good leads.” He said in the meantime, the police department is urging people who use dating sites to be cautious and, “When meeting for the first time, try to meet in public places.”

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