Suspects accused of using online dating to meet and rob victim

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) -- New Orleans police accuse two suspects of using an online dating website to meet a victim and lure him to a location where he was robbed.

Police say the pair used the Plenty of Fish, or POF, website to meet the victim.  The suspects are identified as 21-year-old Jarius Smith and 17-year-old Oliska McNeil.

The case happened on January 21 when the victim drove to the St. Roch Playground to meet McNeil.  Police say she brought Smith with her for the meeting and introduced him as her cousin.  At that point, the suspects are accused of getting in the car with the victim and asking him to drive to a nearby location to drop off Smith.  Once they arrived on Spain Street, police say McNeil got out of the car and Smith pulled a gun on the victim, forcing him to drive to Elysian Fields and North Claiborne to retrieve money from his bank account.  Police say the victim's debit card was also used at a local gas station and that the suspects are seen on surveillance camera footage at the scene.

Police are only accusing the pair of one robbery.  But detectives have been working multiple, similar cases lately.  Two cases, on Jan. 21 and Feb. 1, happened in the 6800 block of Tara Lane.  In both cases, the victim met a woman online and agreed to meet at the location.  But in one of those cases, the victim was robbed by four men and in the other, by two.

Police say that on Feb. 1, the same day of one of the robberies in the 6800 block of Tara Lane, the suspects were arrested, also on Tara.