Chicago police have identified a suspect who they believe is responsible for robbing at least three men in downtown hotels this month. The victims were robbed by a Taser-wielding man after each arranged to meet up with the offender via the Grindr gay hookup app.
It just so happens that the prime suspect is out on bail after he allegedly robbed yet another Grindr date in a Mag Mile hotel last month — while carrying a firearm. And, oddly enough, the man recently completed a two-year court supervision term after he pleaded guilty to threatening a woman with a Taser.
CWBChicago is not naming the man because he has not been charged in connection with this month’s series of robberies.
But, here’s what we can tell you.
Police arrested the 20-year-old at the Inn of Chicago, 162 East Ohio, last month after he allegedly hooked up with a 65-year-old man via Grindr and then tried to steal property from the man’s hotel room.
A physical altercation broke out in the hotel hallway when the victim confronted the man about the theft, CPD spokesperson Kellie Bartoli said. Hotel staff intervened and held both parties until the police arrived.
Officers said they found the victim’s stolen property and a handgun in the suspect’s possession during a search.
Prosecutors charged the 20-year-old with misdemeanor theft and misdemeanor unlawful use of a weapon. He paid a $150 deposit bond to go free while awaiting trial.
According to court records, the suspect recently completed two years of court supervision after he pleaded guilty to threatening a woman with a Taser in a domestic-related incident in July 2018.
In the 2018 arrest report, suburban police said the man was black, 6’1” tall, and 180 pounds. He has a heart-shaped tattoo under his left eye.
Now, Chicago police are very interested in speaking with the man about a series of armed robberies in which middle-aged men have been robbed by a Taser-wielding offender whom they met via Grindr.
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The most recent robbery was reported by a guest at the Westin Michigan Avenue at 9:34 p.m. on Tuesday. Police said a 42-year-old man was threatened with a Taser and robbed in his room by a man he arranged to meet via Grindr.
Another 42-year-old man was robbed similarly at the W Lakeshore Hotel in Streeterville around 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 23.
The first known case this month took place at 8:38 p.m. on Jan. 6 at the Cambria Hotel, 32 West Randolph, in the Loop. Police managed to find the offender nearby and they detained him after a brief foot chase, but the 60-year-old victim got cold feet given the nature of his meet-up and the police had to let the offender go.
Historically, police have advised Grindr users to exercise extreme caution when they agree to meet up with other users.