Police identify man sought for luring robbery victims through dating site

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MORRISANIA, the Bronx — Police have identified a man sought in connection to a robbery pattern where victims were lured through a dating website in the Bronx as 24-year-old DeManuel Lawton.

Two men have been arrested and charged for the Bronx robbery pattern. DeManuel Lawton remains on the loose (DCPI).

Lawton is one of three men suspected of robbing men who were lured to 3428 Park Avenue, thinking they were meeting up with a woman, in five different incidents throughout December and January.

When the victims arrived, they were attacked by two men, or three, depending on the incident. The attackers used a knife, or a bat, or their fists in different cases, to force the person who’d shown up to give up his wallet, his cellphone, cash, or, in one case, his electric scooter. In one other case, the victim told police that he had simply been jumped by the suspects without having arrived seeking a romantic encounter.

Nathaniel Baptiste, 23, and George Livermoore, 32, have been arrested and charged in the case. Lawton remains on the loose. According to authorities, he used one of the stolen ATM cards to make three different, unauthorized withdrawals from a bank, totaling about $1,100.

He is believed to be about 25-30 years old, 6 feet tall, with a light complexion, slim build, a heavy beard and short, curly black hair.

Police are also looking for Janessia Roberts, 16, who is wanted for questioning regarding the online dating accounts used to lure the victims.

Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

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