Man Meets Woman from Phone Chat Line, Gets Robbed
Arlington police investigate armed robbery reported in Columbia Heights West.
A 32-year-old Washington man came to Arlington this weekend to meet a woman he had been talking to on a telephone chat line and ended up getting robbed at gunpoint, according to police.
Investigators have not specified the nature of the chat line, police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said.
The victim had previously been talking with the woman on the chat line when she told him she lived in the area.
"She said, 'I'd like to hang out with you. Here's my personal cell phone number,' " Sternbeck said.
He called her personal line. They planned to meet at what the woman claimed was her residence -- an apartment in the 5200 block of 8th Road South in the Columbia Heights West neighborhood.
When he arrived shortly before 11 p.m. Sunday, the woman and a female friend greeted him at the entrance to a common area in the apartment complex, Sternbeck said.
He followed them to a courtyard area, where he was confronted by three men armed with handguns. One of them hit the man in the head with his gun and he fell to the ground.
The women ran away as soon as they got to the courtyard, Sternbeck said.
The male attackers demanded the victim's money and cell phone and they told him to remove his jacket and shoes. They left with $300 in cash, the phone, the clothes and the man's car keys, which were in his jacket pocket.
It's not clear if the woman from the chat line actually lives at the apartment complex, Sternbeck said. But police are looking for her and her friend as accessories.
"She set it up," Sternbeck said. "She set up the meeting, the location. She initiated everything."
The victim sustained minor injuries. He took a cab home to get a spare set of keys, and returned to get his car.
Investigators deployed a police dog but were unable to find any of the suspects, Sternbeck said.
"Once again, we come back to this issue of online or phone solicitation, and setting up meetings with individuals where you have no clue who they are," he said.
"We'd advise people to avoid putting themselves in situations such as these."