3 recent armed robberies began as online encountersUpdated:
Three different men become victims of armed robberies or carjackings in recent weeks, all because they tried to meet up with women they found online. Now, the NOPD is issuing a warning to people who use the social media sites.
"It's dangerous. I mean, don't come to such a secluded area and meet somebody on a corner," said New Orleans resident Chastity Dye. Dye lives near the 1600 block of Baronne, that's where police say a man showed up July 11th, hoping to meet a woman he'd met on an online site called Tagged. Police say a woman was there, but so too were a group of about 10 men, who robbed the victim.
NOPD Sixth District Commander Bob Bardy says, "It's very similar to some of the incidents we're experiencing in some of the neighboring parishes where people go on Craigslist and offer to sell you something and when you show up at 3:00 in the morning on a dark street in a dead end, you get robbed."
July 23rd on St. Anthony Street, a similar story. This time, the victim's car was taken. And then Monday night around 9, an 18 year old from Gretna showed up to the intersection of Danneel and Josephine Streets after chatting with a woman on a service called Kik. The woman was there, and even spent time in the victim's car with him. Bardy explains, "The female got out of the car and then several subjects entered the car and robbed him of his car."
Residents who live in the area say they're shocked to hear of the carjacking and the circumstances that led to the encounter. "It really make me feel uncomfortable because I never heard of nothing like that happening," said Iresha Hammond.
Germain Payton says, "Whatever happened to restaurants or going on a serious date before you meet a person or something like that."
In Baton Rouge, an LSU student recently called police to say she was raped by a man she met on an app called Tinder. Commander Bardy says as sites such as Kik, Tagged and Tinder become more popular, he just wants people to be smart about what they do. "It's a different generation, it's a younger generation. Certainly this is an application that people do use so let's use some common sense there. Why can't you meet in a well lit restaurant? In public? Where this won't happen," Bardy said.
Bardy tells FOX 8 he's not ruling out that the three incidents in New Orleans are connected but it's still early in the investigation. He's hoping people heed his advice, to prevent anyone else from becoming a victim.
Police recovered the car taken during the incident on St. Anthony Street and are checking it for evidence. None of the three men were injured during the robberies.
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