A group of three foreigners were arrested in Rome after allegedly using dating apps to lure homosexual men to areas where they ambushed and robbed them.
The three men, all said to be from Romania, had been engaged in the scheme for months prior to their arrest in and around the Lazio region, which contains Rome and its surrounding area, mostly focused in Castelli Romani, just south of the Italian capital.
Prosecutors allege that the three men used a homosexual dating app to find and lure their victims, with one of the men meeting with their victims, and then driving them to a more secluded area, as the other two men hid in the trunk of the vehicle, Il Giornale reports.
Once the car reached a secluded area the three demanded their victims hand over cash, watches, jewellery, and any other valuables, threatening the victims with violence if they refused to comply.
In some cases, the three men are believed to have held broken glass bottles to the throats of victims or beaten them.
France: Teens Use Grindr App to Lure Gay Men to Be Assaulted, Robbed https://t.co/nYaD8v8Qdy
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 14, 2019
Investigators were alerted to the gang’s activities after a number of reports. The three men had been highly active and used the chatlogs on the dating app, along with CCTV footage, to track down and identify the men.
The case is not unique as there have been several reports of criminals using dating apps like Grindr to lure gay men for several years.
In 2019, for example, two 17-year-olds were arrested in Choisy-le-Roi after they also used Grindr to lure victims who were later beaten and robbed.
Following their arrest, the two young men claimed they used Grindr due to the ease of setting up meetings with their targets.
Last year in May, meanwhile, Spanish police in Bilbao claimed that a man had used Grindr in order to seek out victims to murder, with police alleging the man had killed at least four people since 2021.
Spanish Police Hunt For Alleged Gay Dating App Serial Killerhttps://t.co/ctfvzyJmNR
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 6, 2022
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com.