Crime

Dorchester man accused of ‘catfishing’ robbery scheme faces new charges

A Dorchester man accused of posing as a woman on a dating app and luring men to meet him in secluded areas to rob them at gunpoint is facing new charges on three additional robberies, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

Rakeem Austin, 30, was arraigned Monday morning on nine counts of armed robbery in Suffolk Superior Court, authorities said. He was previously arraigned  in Dorchester District Court on six of the robberies in November. Austin’s bail was set at $75,000, according to the D.A.’s office.

In October and November, Austin allegedly conducted a “catfishing” scheme in which he posed as women named Lizzy S. and Candy B. on a dating app and arranged to meet up with men. When the men reached the location, Austin showed a handgun, ordered them to get on the ground, and stole their cash, wallet, phones, and jewelry, according to the D.A.’s office. The alleged robberies occurred in Dorchester on Edson Street, Whitman Street, and Strathcona Road, and in Mattapan on Woolson Street, authorities said.

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An investigation by Boston police found a phone number linked to Austin in the account information of Lizzy S. and Candy B.’s dating profiles, according to the D.A.’s office. A GPS monitoring device worn by Austin while he awaited a trial on breaking and entering charges put him in the area of the armed robberies at the times they occurred, authorities said.

Austin was arrested in November at an Edson Street home following one of the robberies. Authorities said police found the phone that belonged to a man robbed earlier that night with Austin.

He is due back in court April 22.

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