On Wednesday, November 11, 2015, the Boston Police Department advised the public to be aware of an ongoing robbery scheme involving online social media or dating websites. The victims of several robberies reported making contact with an online profile and agreeing to meet the person depicted on the profile at a specific residence. When the victim arrived outside that location, they were approached by a male suspect armed with a handgun and robbed of their property. All of the robberies had occurred at specific addresses in Mattapan and Roxbury and fit the description of “cat-fishing,” a deceptive activity in which a false social network account is set up for criminal purposes.
Yesterday, Friday, November 20, 2015, after an extensive and thorough investigation, District B-3 (Mattapan) detectives in collaboration with the BPD Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Motorcycle Unit (MOP), and Youth Violence Strike Force (YVSF) arrested 30-year-old Rakeem Austin of Dorchester in connection with the above mentioned string of 8 armed robberies using an online dating service. Austin was apprehended by virtue of an arrest warrant for Armed Robbery, Assault by Means of a Dangerous Weapon to wit: Gun, and Threats to Commit a Crime. Officers were also able to recover evidence of the crimes during a search warrant execution of Austin’s residence. Austin will be arraigned Monday in Dorchester District Court.
Said Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, “Thanks to the hard work and collaboration between these units, we have taken a dangerous armed robber off the streets. It was clear that this suspect would continue to commit these crimes until we stopped him, so our detectives worked around the clock to find out who he is, make a case against him, and effect his arrest.”