Washington Man Reports Being Kidnapped and Robbed by Woman From Dating App
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department is encouraging people to always do their research and trust their instincts.
A Washington state man called 911 on Aug 20 to report that he had been kidnapped and robbed after meeting a woman on the dating app Plenty of Fish, police said.
The 30-year-old man, who police did not identify, told deputies that he drove to an apartment complex to meet the woman who presented herself as someone of similar age, according to a statement by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department on Facebook.
After just five minutes in her apartment, the man told police another man appeared, pointed a gun at him, and ordered him to take off his clothes, according to the statement.
The victim told police that the woman took photos of the nude victim.
After telling the victim to unlock his phone, the couple allegedly told him to use an app to transfer $6,000 to their account. The couple then forced the victim to attempt additional transactions using various apps once the first transfer was reported as fraudulent, deputies said.
Deputies said in the statement that the couple even pretended to be the victim over the phone in an attempt to unlock the account.
The couple held the man captive for three hours before releasing him, after threatening to send the nude photos to everyone on his contact list if he told anyone of the incident, according to deputies.
Deputies were called to the same residence the next day for a domestic violence assault.
Upon arrival, deputies allegedly found the man from the robbery and attempted to handcuff him but he reached for a gun inside his pocket.
Deputies were able to stop the man, according to the statement, and arrest the 22-year-old suspect and place him in the back of a patrol vehicle.
According to a camera in the patrol car, the man moved his handcuffs to the front of his body and was able to break the interior door panel and the top of his seat belt fastener in an attempt to escape, deputies said.
The man was charged with robbery, kidnapping, extortion, unlawful possession of a firearm, and malicious mischief, according to the statement. His bail was set at $125,000.
According to deputies, the man has multiple previous felony convictions, such as convictions for robbery, assault, residential burglary and unlawful possession of a firearm. Deputies also said he is also on supervision with the Department of Corrections.
The 19-year-old woman was also arrested and charged with robbery, kidnapping and extortion. Her bail was set at $50,000.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department encourages people to be extra cautious when meeting people from online dating sites and is urging parents to talk to their kids about the dangers of meeting people online.
“Always do your research and trust your instinct,” the statement wrote.
"What has been reported is horrible and we have banned the account from our platform. We are committed to the safety and security of our members and will fully cooperate with law enforcement's investigation,” Plenty of Fish told Inside Edition Digital in a statement.
“At POF, we have a Trust & Safety team that is solely focused on keeping our community safe by leveraging the right technologies and continually improving our systems. We also aim to educate our members and encourage them to follow our safety recommendations available online and through the app."
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