Greenbelt police warn of armed robbers using dating apps to lure victims

Many have found love through dating apps — but police in Greenbelt, Maryland, are warning residents to think twice about using them to meet strangers after a recent spate of armed robberies.

Police say at least five men were using MeetMe, an app that allows people to meet and chat with others in their area for free. In all five cases, the victims thought they were talking with a woman and agreed to meet at the Franklin Park apartment complex in the area of Springhill Court.

But when they showed up, they were greeted by armed suspects wearing masks who beat and robbed them — often taking wallets, car keys and cellphones, said George Mathews, spokesman for the Greenbelt Police Department.

“We want to make sure you don’t put yourself in a situation where you’re isolated and you’ll increase the chances of you being victimized,” Mathews told WTOP, suggesting that meetings be set up in a populated, well-lit area.

Police are not sure if the suspects set up a fake profile, or if there is a woman involved in the setup. They believe there could be more victims who have yet to come forward.

Anyone with information on the robberies can contact investigators at 301-474-7200.

WTOP’s Nick Iannelli contributed to this report.

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