Four men robbed after 'MeetMe' dates in Elgin
Four men who arranged to meet women for dates using the smartphone app "MeetMe" were robbed in the last week in Elgin, and police are asking any other victims to come forward.
Two robberies happened June 14, one happened Tuesday and one Wednesday, all at private addresses on the east side of town, Sgt. Eric Echevarria said. He declined to disclose the addresses, citing the active investigation.
All four victims were robbed of cash and one was taken against his will to ATMs, where he was forced to withdraw money, Echevarria said. The latter victim suffered minor injuries during the robbery, but Echevarria declined to specify how.
Police are working to obtain text messages, video and other evidence, he said.
"The victims don't all know each other, but we believe the suspects may all be interconnected," he said.
Victims might hesitate to come forward due to embarrassment, but police are only interested in solving crimes without judging their circumstances, Echevarria said.
"We're not worried about what your lifestyle is, your marital status, your sexual orientation. That's not a job for us to be concerned about," he said. "Our job is to be concerned about, is there a crime that occurred, was there someone who was a victim and how do we bring justice for a victim."
The police department's advice for people is to arrange for online dates in well-lighted public spaces, such as restaurants, or bring someone else along, he said. People who make arrangements online for the sale or purchase of goods can arrange to meet at the police station, 151 Douglas Ave.
"The traditional ways of meeting people are out of the window these days. There's these apps that people use, and it provides a way for people to be victimized," Echevarria said.
Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to call (847) 289-2600 to speak with a detective, or text a tip to 847411 and include ElginPD at the beginning of the text message.