According to reports, the victim arranged the date through the hookup app Grindr at his home.
Community Advocate Karen Ritchie says two carloads arrived at the man’s home instead
Knowing that the gay man would be alone and vulnerable, she says, “They rolled his house, they had a shot gun, they took his car.”
Since the incident, Ritchie has posted warnings to the LGBTQ community online:
I have been made aware of a gang of thieves posing as a guy on Grindr who have used a gun and various other weapons to rob and humiliate one of our community members and possibly others and will be targeting gay men as you read this. This isn’t fake this is real please be aware, don’t meet up unless you’re in a busy public place these scum are very serious and I don’t want anyone hurt or killed by these animals. Feel free to share this.”
Ritchie says the victim, believed to be in his mid-to-late thirties, is in shock.
New Zealand entertainer Mika did her part to spread the word, saying:
You would hope in the world today that we’ve moved on, I mean sadly we haven’t.
There’s rules to live by, when you’re cyber dating. One – no face, no phone number, no meet. If you’re gonna turn up and see someone, you do it in a public place in the day. Write the phone number of a registration plate, their phone number, take pictures of their face, put it on your phone and send it to a mate before you go out. So if you get in trouble, you can say, just so you know before you even touch me, I’ve sent this to a mate.”
The attack is being investigated as an aggravated robbery.