Man charged with robbery after meeting men online
The arrest of a man over the alleged robbery of two men he met online has prompted police to remind the gay community to exercise caution when using dating apps and hook-up sites.
Police said they had arrested the man in Waitara on Sydney’s Upper North Shore over the robberies which occurred in the inner city earlier this month.
About 3:30am on Sunday, February 9, a 28-year-old man went to Waterloo to meet with a man who he had been chatting with on a social networking site.
The pair walked to Buckland Street in Alexandria where the 28-year-old was allegedly threatened with a knife and robbed of his mobile phone and cash.
In a separate incident, about 4am on Monday, February 10, a 48-year-old man drove to Fountain Street in Alexandria to meet a man he had been communicating with online.
Police say the man allegedly got into the car and threatened the 48-year-old with a knife before forcing him to drive to McEvoy Street.
While in McEvoy Street, the 48-year-old man stopped the car and managed to run off.
He contacted police who attended the scene and conducted a search for the man without success.
Detectives from Redfern Local Area Command conducted investigations into the incidents and Thursday, February 13, arrested the 22-year-old man in Waitara.
He was taken to Hornsby Police Station where he was charged with robbery armed with offensive weapon and armed with intent to commit indictable offence.
The man was refused bail and appeared in court where he was remanded in custody to appear in Central Local Court in April. Investigations are continuing.
Police said the incident highlights the need for people to be vigilant when using social networking sites and gay hook-up apps.
In September 2013, a man was assaulted and robbed in a Surry Hills hotel room by two men. He had met one of the men on a gay chat site.
And in December 2011, a man was tied up in his home by a man he met online and had his car stolen.