Five teenagers who allegedly lured their victims from Tinder using fake profiles were arrested in connection with a string of armed robberies and carjackings in San Jose, Calif., police announced on Thursday.
Bryan Gonzalez, 19, Yadira Villarreal, 19, Jonathan Jimenez, 18, Lesly Portillo, 18, and an unidentified 15-year-old male were arrested at different times and locations after police saw surveillance footage near the scene of one of the attacks, which took place March 16-29, according to police.
The suspects used the false names “Becky” and “Victoria” to match with male victims and scheduled late night meetings on secluded streets near parks, where they then beat, robbed and carjacked the victims at gunpoint wearing masks, according to a press release from the San Jose Police Department.
Each of the five teens faces multiple counts of robbery, carjacking, auto theft and hit-run.
At least 11 men fell prey to the Tinder trap allegedly set by the teens.
Tinder’s site includes tips for dating safely through the app and encourages users to do their due diligence before meeting matches in person.
“Meet for the first time in a populated, public place – never in a private or remote location, and never at your home or apartment,” Tinder advises.
Dating apps have come under scrutiny after crimes related to the sites spiked from 329 in 2015 to 658 in 2018, according to BBC 5 Live in the U.K.
In 2018, a 27-year-old man was arrested in North Hollywood California in connection with the death of a 29-year-old nurse he met on Tinder.