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Report: Victims robbed after using Grindr app

Posted at 7:22 PM, Jan 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-19 23:38:30-05

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla-- Boynton Beach Police say two 16 year-olds and a 17 year-old lured a man to an area with the dating app Grindr and later robbed him at gunpoint.

It might not  be the first time this happened this week.

According to the police report, the victim reported receiving a message from someone on the dating app Grindr, an app for men to meet up and date.

The victim said who ever messaged him told him to meet up on NW 4th Ave in Boynton Beach.

That is where he says three men got in the car and held him at gun point to rob him. He says they forced him to drive to an ATM to make a withdrawal before the victim was able to run and call for help.

We are learning that just hours before this robbery, a similar incident was reported in the same area. In that case two other men using Grindr also reported being robbed at gun point.

Both reported robberies happened just blocks away from each other. The first happening just after 3am near North Seacrest Blvd. The second happened around 9:30 am on NW 4 Ave.

Police are not saying if the two cases are related.

Staff at the Compass Center, a safe place for the LGBT community, says its still very much part of the culture for gay men to feel the need to meet up in a private, desecrate location to keep their sexuality a secret.

However, according to the Chief of Staff at Compass Ryanmarie Rice, this can come with big risks. Rice says there are still ways to date privately without putting yourself at danger.

"Don't share your location. Show up in a public place. Don't put yourself in danger. Make sure you're keeping all of these safety precautions in mind when you're meeting someone new," said Rice. "And if you're inviting a stranger into your home. you're putting yourself in danger. "

Rice says these are the exact reasons why the Compass Center exists. It provides a safe place if you want to meet someone here without putting yourself in danger.

In the first robbery, the two victims there have chosen not to press charges so police are not actively investigating that case.