Man accused of using online dating sites to find robbery victims - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Man accused of using online dating sites to find robbery victims

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SOUTHAVEN, MS -

(WMC-TV) - A Southaven man is accused using online dating websites to find victims so that he could steal their cell phones.

"He messaged me and was really nice and stuff and we started talking and we talked for like a week and a half," said Paige Farrow, who now has a bad taste in her mouth when it comes to online dating websites.

Southaven police say Austin Baeumlisberger, 25, was using a fake name on a dating website to meet victims and steal their phones. Now, Farrow is out $300.

Investigators believe Farrow was Baeumlisberger's fourth victim. They believe one victim was from Memphis, two were from DeSoto County, and one was from Tate County.

Police say two of the victims met Baeumlisberger at his apartment complex because he told them he did not have a car. When they arrived, police say he met them in the parking lot, asked to make one last minute call, and the victims never saw their phones -- or their date again.

"I went to walk up to the apartment that he told me and he didn't live there," said Farrow.

Lieutenant Mark Little with the Southaven Police Department says any online dating site, like Plenty Of Fish, should be used with caution.

"A lot of the girls that I talked to actually had a friend tag along or follow just to be on the safe side, which is probably a good idea," said Lt Little.

Baeumlisberger faces several misdemeanor theft charges, but Lt. Little says there could be more victims out there. And Farrow hopes her story might encourage others to speak up.

Action News 5's Michael Clark looked up a number for Baeumlisberger in an attempt to speak to him about his side of the story, but Clark was unable to reach him.

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