RICHMOND (NEWS 1130) – The RCMP in Richmond is urging people to be cautious after two reported assaults linked to the use of a dating app this past weekend.
Mounties say two users of Tantan, a app widely available on Android and IOS smartphones, appear to have be targeted.
“We are currently investigating and getting in touch with the company that makes this app, so we’re following a number of different investigative avenues,” explains Corporal Dennis Hwang.
On Saturday, just after 7:00 a.m., a 32-year-old man is said to have set up a meeting with someone claiming to be a woman named Stephanie, at a home in Richmond’s southwest.
While the man was waiting, two people jumped out and assaulted him, a release reads. He was able to get away.
The next day, around 3:00 a.m., a man from Vancouver is said to have also set up a meeting with another user named Stephanie. When the 23-year-old arrived at the home in central Richmond, Mounties say he was reportedly approached by three suspects — one of whom was carrying a knife.
Last weekend over the period of two days, two men each planned to meet a girl named Stephanie who was from a dating app. As @RichmondRCMP explains, things went very wrong. @CityNewsVAN @BT_Vancouver @NEWS1130 pic.twitter.com/ItRYYRnJKM
— Ashley Grace Burr (@AshleyBurr_) September 11, 2018
The man was taken to a bank in the area of No. 3 and Cambie roads, where he’s said to have been forced to wtihdraw money from an ATM. Mounties say he was also robbed, and even his clothing was taken from him before he was released.
“Both of them, I would suggest, are somewhat shaken up by the entire incidents. One was actually taken at knife point, allegedly by three suspects, so I would suspect it is quite a traumatic ordeal.”
Since these incidents both happened so close to each other, police believe they may be linked.
“Police are warning the public to exercise caution whenever Tantan or other similar dating apps are used. Unless trust is guaranteed, it is inherently dangerous to meet strangers in non-public areas,” Cpl. Hwang says.
He suggests arranging any dates in a public space, and adds there is always a risk involved in using these types of dating apps.
If you have any information about these incidents, you’re asked to get in touch with the Richmond RCMP’s Constable L. Reid at 604.278.1212 or email@example.com.
-With files from Marcella Bernardo