CHICAGO (CBS) — They thought they were meeting their dates near some of Chicago’s nicest hotels.
Instead. they were threatened with a stun gun and robbed. CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole has more with what all the victims have in common.
Four attacks in all since December, one of them took place at the Cambria Hotel. They are all centered in the downtown and Gold Coast areas.
Police said the victims and their attackers met on the on the dating app Grindr. They point out the risks of meeting up privately with people you don’t really know.
Authorities said the man met and lured his victim to a hotel room in the Loop’s Cambria Hotel through a dating app. There he used a stun gun on his victim stealing his wallet.
Though taken into custody police said the victim was reluctant to press charges, and the suspect later released.
That was on January 6, and it’s now one of four similar dating app stun gun robberies reported in the loop and the Gold Coast since late December.
The first occurred near the Embassy Suites Hotel in the 600 block of North State Street on December 22. The next, the Cambria robbery on January 6 where the suspect was released.
Then, about two weeks later, another stun gun date and robbery near the W Hotel on North Lake Shore Drive.
And finally Tuesday night, near the Four Seasons Hotel at 900 North Michigan Avenue, another dangerous online date where the victim was shocked and robbed.
It’s prompted police to issue a community alert for the downtown and Mag Mile neighborhoods where the dangerous dates are occurring.
Online dating continues to grow in popularity, with 15% of the nation’s adults saying they’ve used social sites to legitimately meet someone.
But as the recent string of attacks in Chicago shows, sometimes it may be looking for love in the wrong place.
Police believe there may be more than one person responsible for the attacks. Police added that the website Grindr is cooperating in the investigation.
Authorities also warn anyone using a social dating site to arrange their first encounter in a very public, open place.