Armed gang used Grindr to lure, kidnap and rob gay men
Police in Oklahoma are searching for suspects who used gay hook-up app Grindr to lure unsuspecting victims.
So far, one man has been charged with robbery with a firearm and kidnapping in connection with the plot in Oklahoma City on September 8.
According to local news outlet KFOR, police believe that the victims were duped by a fake profile on the app into visiting a house in a quiet residential area.
When they arrived, however, the victims were not greeted by a prospective hook-up, but by a gun-wielding gang who held them at gunpoint and proceeded to rob them of their possessions.
The outlet reports that at least five victims showed up in one evening.
The gang demanded their car keys, mobile phones, cash and credit cards – also forcing the victims into a confined space.
Officer Megan Morgan told KFOR: “There was only one light in that garage and a couple of victims actually described stepping over what they thought was trash and it turned out to be several of the other live victims who were lying on the floor.
“Different credit cards, they even asked for the victim’s pin numbers. They stole cell phones, keys to cars and one victim even reported that they asked for the title or deed to the car as well.”
Five people fell victim in just one evening, according to reports (Leon Neal/Getty)
Neighbours called police with reports of gunshots, while several victims managed to escape and also dialled 911.
One victim told 911 operators: “I was just robbed at gunpoint and my car stolen and everything.”
Deaunte McPherson, 31, has been arrested in connection to the crime, but police are still searching for three more suspects – two men and a woman.
It is not the first such plot to take advantage of the app.
Four men in Texas were previously jailed on federal hate crime charges over attacks on Grindr users from January 17 to February 7, 2017.
Anthony Shelton was jailed for 20 years, Cameron Ajiduah and Nigel Garrett for 15 years, and Chancler Encalade for ten years.
On one occasion the men used Grindr to arrange to find a victim and arrange a ‘meet-up’ for sex at the victim’s home.
The gun-toting homophobes entered the victim’s home before overpowering him, tying him up with tape, physically assaulting him, and screaming anti-gay slurs. They proceeded to ransack the property, before making a getaway with the victim’s car and property.
The US Justice Department pursued the hate crime charges.