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article imageThieves target gay men in Halifax through online dating site

By Lynn Curwin     Jan 9, 2011 in Crime
Halifax - Two gay men in Halifax were recently robbed after driving somewhere with men they had met through an online-dating site, and police believe the incidents are connected.
Early in the evening of January 2 a 35-year-old man picked up a man he had met through Plenty Of Fish and drove to Point Pleasant Park.
“Moments later, two additional men approached the vehicle, threatened the victim and demanded his money,” stated a Halifax Regional Police press release. “The victim complied and was not physically injured during the incident.”
The main suspect was described as being white, approximately 20-years-old, and having short dark hair.
On the evening of January 6 a 29-year-old man picked up someone he had met on the dating site and drove to the south end of the city.
Within a few minutes, several other men approached the vehicle, claimed they had a knife, and took the victim’s wallet before leaving.
The man who was robbed described the individual he had picked up as white, in his early twenties, about 5'10" and weighing around 170 lbs.
Investigators believe the person being picked up by the victims is working with those who later approach the vehicles and are urging people to be cautious when meeting someone they know little about in person. They suggest a first meeting be held in a well-lit public location where there are a lot of people, and that people inform others of where they are going and then they will be back.
"We're concerned that there may be other incidents and that people may be reluctant to come forward, so we've reached out to the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Group which represents the gay, lesbian bi-sexual and transgendered community in hopes that if there are other victims out there, we can arrange a safe and delicate way for them to report these incidents to investigators," Const. Brian Palmeter told CBC News.
One person, who commented on the CBC website under the name 1Zonny, said they hoped the story didn’t scare people off of online dating sites as : “Most people on those sites are just looking for love, not out to harm you or rob you. Just like when you meet someone in a bar, in the produce section of the grocery store or get set up with by your friend, you find good ones and not so good ones.”
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