Police departments across the country, including New Haven, report that they’re seeing a rise in internet-related crimes. One officer even took a literary approach to the problem.
Law enforcement officials have noticed more robberies related to online dating and purchase exchange sites than ever before. People are either meeting for a date or they’re meeting through a site like Craigslist to buy a product from someone who’s selling it. And that’s where the potential danger comes in.
David Hartman, an officer with the New Haven Police, said during the past month there have been several reported robberies a week, in spite of the fact that most dating and internet sale sites offer safety tips. He’s urging people to take precautions.
“Meet during the day,” Hartman said. “Meet in a public place. Don’t do it at night, period. It doesn’t even matter where at night, unless it’s going to be a coffee shop that’s open. Never ever get into someone’s car. Make sure you have your transportation, make sure others know where you’re going. Heavily traveled by pedestrian areas are the best.”
Hartman’s given this trend some thought though. And he’s even put it into poetry form:
BEWARE THE ONLINE DATE
A composition by Officer David Hartman
All over the world, people look to find love
In coffee shops, bars and such places thereof
The new trend, however – no more than a click
On a cellphone or device with a memory stick
The love you may seek just might come with a price
From a criminal element well-seasoned in vice
Should you trust a match-maker from the “the cloud” up above
Or rely on tradition to truly find love?
Your excitement at romance will be quickly undone
When Brenda is really a dude with a gun
Be cautious, warn cops, when looking for fun
So the criminals, you won’t have to try to outrun
The rendezvous spot should be chosen with care
In New Haven – perhaps it’s a well-lit town square
Just no darkened driveways – chose someplace elsewhere,
Like a place you’d be proud to spark-up your affair
How embarrassed you’ll be when your wallet gets robbed
By Brenda – who’s really a delinquent named Bob
The match you are seeking should be carefully picked
Just be certain to avoid being conned, robbed or tricked.
Police fear there are many more unreported cases because victims are too embarrassed to come forward.