As the popularity of online dating increases, so does the rise of online dating and internet purchase-related crimes. According to an article on Fox 61 entitled New Haven PD Bringing Awareness to Online Dating, Internet Purchases, the New Haven Police Department said that they have received up to eight reported crimes in the last month.

Many of these crimes, the article says, result in armed robberies where victims are assaulted. A recent incident, according to the article, a robbery. Someone was instructed to walk up a dark driveway in the middle of the night, expecting to meet the love of his life. He was instead met by two armed guys, who stole his cell phone, wallet, keys, and then took his car.

As a response, the New Haven Police Department is stepping up their outreach by spreading awareness of online dating safety measures. To do so, one officer took a creative approach — he wrote a poem.

New Haven Police Officer David Hartman wrote  “Beware The Online Date” to get the message across. It was included in a release:

BEWARE THE ONLINE DATE

A composition by Officer David Hartman

All over the world, people look to find love

In coffee shops, bars and such places thereof

The new trend, however – no more than a click

On a cellphone or device with a memory stick

The love you may seek just might come with a price

From a criminal element well-seasoned in vice

Should you trust a match-maker from the “the cloud” up above

Or rely on tradition to truly find love?

Your excitement at romance will be quickly undone

When Brenda is really a dude with a gun

Be cautious, warn cops, when looking for fun

So the criminals, you won’t have to try to outrun

In addition to the poem, the release included safety tips for online dating. According to an article in the New Haven Register entitled New Haven Police Officer Pens Poem to Warn About Online Dating Dangers, these tips include: saving online information, saving related photos, leaving large amounts of cash and valuables at home, and telling friends where you’re going and updating them until you’re certain you’re safe.

Additionally, NHPD also has tips that are specific to dating. These tips include: being responsible for your own rides, staying sober, and of course, if you feel uncomfortable, leave immediately.

Furthermore, if you’re a victim of any of these crimes, the New Haven Police Department says to report them immediately.

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