Two men who Riverside police say attempted to rob a man they targeted using a dating app have been arrested.
The robbery happened on Aug. 29 at an apartment on Iowa Avenue near UC Riverside. The man arranged to meet someone through the app, a police news release said. During the meeting, a second suspect broke into the apartment, and both attempted to rob the victim at gunpoint.
At some point, the robbers fled, and police could not immediately find them.
Then on Jan. 25, detectives served search warrants that yielded one of the guns used in the robbery along with money related to the illegal sale of “ghost” firearms — untraceable guns assembled from parts that lack serial numbers — and evidence of other “nefarious activities.”
Julio Antonio Salinas, 20, of Highland was arrested that same day as he left work in Riverside. Carlos Marin, 21, of Colton was also arrested that day, at home, police said. They have been charged with and pleaded not guilty to attempted robbery and conspiracy and denied a sentencing enhancement that they used a gun to commit a felony, according to Superior Court records. Both are being held in lieu of $105,000 bail.
Police urged those who use dating apps to follow the safety tips of the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, a national sexual assault hotline and website that aims to prevent sexual violence. Those include using different photos for your dating profile than on social media so dates can’t look up information on you, avoiding connecting with suspicious profiles and blocking and reporting suspicious users.
Police ask anyone with information on the suspects to contact Detective Daniel Macias at 951-826-5396 or DMacias@RiversideCA.gov.