Crime Watch

Atlanta police warn of serial robber targeting LGBTQ people

via Shutterstock

Law enforcement in Atlanta has warned LGBTQ citizens of a serial robber using the app Grindr to target his victims.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Atlanta police addressed the issue in a news conference on May 5. Investigators have identified at least eight victims robbed under similar circumstances since February.

“From February to May, we have had eight instances where male victims were lured to remote locations by use of the Grindr app,” said Sgt. Rodney Jones, of APD’s robbery unit. “After the date concludes, the suspect will rob the victim, often taking their wallets, keys or even vehicles.”

Related: Norway has a bone to pick with Grindr

“The person typically has a handgun,” Jones added. “They’re on a normal date, and after the date concludes they’ll just rob the person of their belongings.”

Investigators have tied the attacks to a single user profile on the gay dating app, but have not identified any suspects by name. It also remains unclear if a network of robbers are using the same profile.

“Find a partner or a friend that you trust that you can notify when you’re going to meet somebody,” Officer Eric King, the department’s LGBT liaison advised the public. “Meet at a grocery store. Meet at a public place before you reconvene somewhere more intimate.” King further suggested meeting a date on a video chat service such as Facetime before agreeing to meet in person.

Police also released two descriptions of suspects before ending the news conference. Both are described as dark-skinned black males, roughly six feet tall with four-inch-long dreadlocks. Most of the attacks have occurred in the northwest quadrant of the city, though some have also occurred in the city’s southeast quadrant as well.