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February 28, 2023

Police investigating a number of robberies in which gay men, including one from Brentford, were drugged and mugged after being contacted through Grindr, have made an arrest.

They have detained a 29-year-old man at Gatwick Airport this Thursday (23 February) on suspicion of aggravated assault.

Four cases have so far been identified in Hounslow, Bromley and Hampton as well as Brentford, in which the victims were contacted through the gay dating app between New Year's Eve and 9 January this year.

The four male victims, aged between 32 and 55, were rendered unconscious. When they woke up, they found personal belongings were missing from their homes. None of the victims suffered any lasting effects from the drug that was administered to them.

The police had issued an appeal last month in which they said that they were looking for a large black man and a slimmer white man who both spoke Spanish. At the time they believed both men had fled the country.

The man was taken to a south London police station, where he is being held in custody.

The police continue to appeal for any other victims of this type of crime to come forward.

Detective Superintendent Dan O'Sullivan said, "We believe other victims may have been targeted between the new year period and January 9, however for personal reasons may not have wanted to report it.

"If you have been a victim, you can report in confidence to us or speak to an officer from the LGBTQ+ community.

"Although the suspects have fled the country and the risk to the community is reduced, we are continuing to engage with our partners and those from LGBT independent advisory groups."

Other potential victims or those with information for the police should call 101 quoting Operation Cavendish.

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