On Tuesday, July 2 at 3:10 pm, the Gainesville Police Department received a report of an armed robbery at University Commons.
The victim had been attempting to meet up and go on a date with someone who they had met online. However, once they arrived, they were confronted by two black men between the ages of 20 and 30, said Jorge Campos, spokesperson for GPD.
The two men, who were armed with a knife, demanded the victim’s money and then fled on foot, Campos said. GPD arrived within minutes of the call.
“This is the fifth incident since January that has occurred at that location under the same circumstances,” Campos said.
To prevent further incidents, Campos encourages Gainesville residents to be cautious and observant when meeting up with people from the internet. If anything appears out of the ordinary, do not go through with the date, Campos said. He also recommends meeting in a public place such as a restaurant or a park.
“If they are not willing to meet in public, I would be suspicious of them,” Campos said.
Detective Jon Rappa also notes the importance of trusting gut instincts when making first date plans.
“If it doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t feel right, so you should not go through with the date,” Rappa said.
While this is the fifth reported incident, Rappa and other officers at GPD suspect there may be more victims in the community who have not reported their incidents. They are urging any of these victims to come forward and report it, Rappa said.
This investigation is currently still open as officers look into possibilities, Rappa said.