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Chicagoan charged in men-seeking-men Craigslist robberies
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2012-11-19

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A man who allegedly used Craigslist men-seeking-men posts to lure robbery and assault victims is facing charges after he was arrested Nov. 16.

Andrew Jones, 20, is facing charges of attempted murder, aggravated battery, armed robbery and aggravated unlawful restraint, according to a spokesperson for Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez.

According to a statement put out by police, Jones allegedly posted men-seeking-men ads on Craigslist and then robbed the men he met at gunpoint, taking their property, keys and vehicles. At least one man was shot during a robbery.

Bail was set for Jones at $350,000.

Over the past few years, many LGBT advocates nationally have warned about pick-up crimes that increasingly target LGBT people.

Anne Huffman, manager of the Anti-Violence Project (AVP) at Center on Halsted, said that she has such concerns about LGBT people in Chicago.

"I think that it's a lot more common than even we [at AVP] are aware of," said Huffman. "I think that it's a pretty common way to commit a crime against a member of the LGBT community."

LGBT people are especially vulnerable to pick-up crimes because they are less likely to report incidents to authorities, she said. Many LGBT people distrust police, while others who are not out as LGBT are also unlikely to report pick-up crimes.

Huffman encouraged those meeting people through the internet to tell a friend where they are going, write down information about where they are meeting someone, travel without a lot of cash and meet in a public place.


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