Violent criminals are using social media hookups to target victims in North Texas.
Violent criminals are using social media hookups to target victims in North Texas.
Illustration by 355

Dallas Police Allege 17-Year-Old Is Part of Crew Luring and Robbing Grindr Users

A 17-year-old and a group of unidentified accomplices lured four men to a vacant Pleasant Grove apartment Tuesday before robbing and beating them, according to the Dallas Police Department. DPD arrested the teen Tuesday, but the department isn't releasing his name because it's looking into his possible involvement in several similar offenses this month.

Tuesday's victims met their attacker on Grindr, a dating app serving primarily gay men, before heading to the apartment in the 8000 block of Chariot Street near Skyline High School at about 12:30 a.m. When they got to the apartment, a group of young men beat and robbed them. Police say they are still looking for as many as five additional suspects.

Three similar robberies happened in the area over the last week, police said — two more in the 8000 block of Chariot Street and one in the 8000 block of Rothington Drive. In each case, attackers lured a single robbery victim to the location after the victim responded to late-night posts on Grindr.

In response to the robberies, DPD released some common-sense tips for meeting up with someone through a dating app or website:

• When meeting in surrounding cities that may be unfamiliar to you, always research a safe meeting location and familiarize yourself with the area.
• Always meet in a well-lit, public place.
• Never go alone.
• Always meet during the day.
• Keep your cell phone close and be ready to call 911 at the first sign of trouble.
• Never give out personal or financial information.
• Let someone know where you’ll be and who you are meeting.
• Leave if you feel uncomfortable.

DPD asks anyone with information about the robberies to call Detective Jason Jarc at 214-671-3464.

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