Dating app nightmare: Man allegedly pulls out weapons on more than 20 dates, robs them

A Southern California man is accused of targeting and robbing more than 20 people he met through a dating app.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 22-year-old Derrick Patterson targeted his victims by using the dating app, Grindr, from November 2019 to March 2022. Patterson, who is from Compton, allegedly would meet his victims at their homes or in hotel rooms and then rob them, according to the DOJ.

During the robberies, the DOJ said Patterson would use knives, a Taser, or other weapons to threaten the victims and then demand their money and cell phone. Patterson would run off with the victims' wallets, DOJ said.

Derrick Patterson, 22, is accused of targeting and robbing more than a dozen people he met on a dating app.

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In some cases, Patterson would allegedly attack the victims and in other alleged incidents, the 22-year-old suspect would withdraw money from the victims' bank accounts or use their credit cards to buy stuff for himself, DOJ said.

In one of the alleged robberies, Patterson is accused of using a Taser to chase one of the victims after he demanded the victim's Apple Pay password. When the victim returned to his hotel room, Patterson was gone and so was the victim's wallet, DOJ said.

Patterson is also accused of stabbing a person in the chest during a robbery in October 2020. The victim ultimately survived and was able to help authorities identify Patterson as the stabbing suspect. 

Patterson's most recent robbery was reported on March 26 at a hotel in Beverly Hills, DOJ said. The 22-year-old suspect was arrested on April 4 by the FBI.

Derrick Patterson, 22, is accused of targeting and robbing more than a dozen people he met on a dating app.

Patterson could face up to 20 years in federal prison, if convicted. Because Patterson is facing federal charges, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremiah M. Levine is prosecuting this case, not Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón.

Anyone who may have been a victim or was targeted by Patterson is asked to call 310-477-6565.

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