A Dorchester man has been arrested for robbing at least five men who thought they were meeting a woman they had encountered on a social networking site.
Rakeem Austin, 30, was arraigned Monday in Dorchester Municipal Court on five counts each of armed robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon and threats to commit a crime, WCVB reported. Prosecutors say Austin lured the men to locations near his home using various fake profiles of women created on the website Tagged.com.
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“After taking their items at gunpoint, the defendant would force the victims to lie on the floor and direct them not to look at him,” Assistant District Attorney Michele E. Granda said in a related Boston Globe report. Granda also said an ankle GPS monitoring device linked Austin to the crimes and that several victims identified him.
The victims, all between the ages of 29 and 54, believed they were meeting a woman named “Candy,” “Lizzy” or “Love,” the Globe stated, adding that investigators found that the fake online accounts were all opened with the same device and tracked to Austin.
“I thought he was going to shoot me. He put the gun to my head and took my wallet,” one victim, who did not want to be identified, said to CBS. “I’m happy I’m still alive, but I would like to get my stuff back.”
Austin has six open cases not counting the most recent charges, has been arraigned 33 times and has had three restraining orders against him, the Globe reported.
Austin’s bail in all of his other open cases, which include charges of breaking and entering, trespassing, drug distribution and assault and battery, was revoked by Dorchester Municipal Court Judge Lisa Grant, meaning he will be held until those cases have made their way through the courts.