Winnipeg police say there are likely many more victims in what is becoming an increasingly common crime involving dating websites: a man meets a woman online and then is attacked when he goes to meet her.
A man met up with a woman in the early morning hours on Monday at a house on Tyndall Avenue, Const. Tammy Skrabek said. When she invited him in, he was immediately assaulted by several people.
The robbers stole his personal belongings and the man then escaped from the house, Skrabek said. However, he was followed and the beating continued on Burrows Avenue near Tyndall Avenue.
When he again escaped and was finally safe, he called police. He suffered minor upper body injuries.
Skrabek said the homeowners were not involved and the woman who answered the door did not live at the house, although she was known to the homeowners.
There have been no arrests.
This is the third incident in recent months involving a dating website, Skrabek said, and she asked people to be more careful.
"Be cautious of who you're meeting, be cautious of your surroundings. You know, in an incident where you're going to a neighbourhood, do some research on that neighbourhood. Do you feel like this is a safe neighbourhood to be meeting someplace? Perhaps meeting at a coffee shop rather than a residence is a better idea."
She said there are likely many more victims of this kind of crime who haven't come forward.
"I think the more we release information that this is something that's happening, the more some of the victims will actually come forward and make the police report," she said. "There's a good suspicion that this is happening but a lot of times, the victims are males and they're reluctant to notify police.
"It is troubling when you have people who are victimizing members who are just simply looking for a date online."