Three men robbed after arranging meetings on a dating website

Computer (generic)Image source, PA

Three men have been targeted in a series of robberies after using a gay dating website to arrange meetings.

They were forced to hand over property including bank cards, cash, mobile phones and wallets by a man who contacted them on the site

Police said during one of the robberies a man was threatened at knifepoint and they believe the three crimes are linked.

Two of the victims were from Reading and one was from Frimley in Surrey.

The first victim, aged in his twenties, arranged to meet a man online at about 22:00 GMT on 9 February in Victoria Park in Reading.

A man arrived, threatened him with a knife, and demanded his phone and bank card, which he used to withdraw money.

'Be careful online'

Then on 14 February a 56-year-old man arranged a meeting in his home in the Tilehurst area at about 02:00 GMT.

The suspect asked his victim to turn off the lights and light a candle, then demanded his wallet and also stole his bicycle.

Both suspects were black, slim, 5ft 8ins to 6ft tall, and aged 20 to 25-years-old.

A man in his 40s arranged a meeting at midnight on the same day his home in the Warren Rise area of Frimley after getting in contact via the site's app.

When inside his house the suspect robbed the victim of his wallet, mobile phone and iWatch.

PC Jim Bone from Reading CID said: "I would like to remind everyone of the need to be careful when you are arranging to meet people online."

A police spokeswoman added that people using other dating websites could also be targeted.

A spokesman from said: "We're by far the biggest gay site in the UK so when tens of thousands of men are arranging meets each day, there is the potential for bad encounters.

"We're working with the police to assist them with their enquiry."

He added that tips for safe meetings were offered to users via its website.

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