“You will have a person say, ‘They came into my room and took my laptop.’ And you can tell you’re only getting half of the story.But you can’t force the whole story from them if they don’t want to give it,” said De Coster, who investigates sex crimes. But police and online dating experts point out that Craigslist personals ads are, in many ways, simply an extension of those in print publications.
And the safety of Craigslist users depends on how they use the site. He spoke on the condition of anonymity to guard the same anonymity he maintains in online posts.“If you go this way, you have to be very, very careful,” said a man in his 50s who has placed Craigslist ads seeking other men in the D. The man said that over the past two decades, he has met about 100 men through Craigslist.Ken Penrod, a longtime Montgomery County detective who has worked the robbery, homicide and vice beats.In Fairfax County, Detective Darrin De Coster said that even when victims speak with police, they can be vague about the details of crimes.For gay men, early “chat rooms” offered a place to talk to hundreds of people about topics that many avoided with family, friends and co-workers.
In the mid-1990s, Craigslist was formed in California and swept the country offering simple, free connections arranged by users — whether to sell a sofa or start a relationship. These days, Smith and West live on a cul-de-sac in Alexandria, help care for three foster children and are looking to adopt.
"There have been a number of arrests in the last few months linked to these applications," Cairo Scene quoted the unnamed source as saying.
The source stated that the government authorities use the technology to pinpoint the location of users by triangulation.
Like couples all around the region, Loren West and Dustin Smith followed the tragic story of David Messerschmitt. The intellectual-property lawyer was found stabbed to death inside a room at a boutique hotel in downtown Washington. “I feel so bad for his wife,” Smith said.d they are gay men, who met online, and are now married.
Then more became clear: The February evening he went missing, Messerschmitt had texted his wife saying he’d be home soon; hotel surveillance video showed a mysterious figure climbing a staircase toward his room; court records revealed Messerschmitt, 30, had posted on Craigslist seeking sex with men; police thought he was targeted in a robbery that went bad. “In this day and age, you never really know who you’re meeting,” Smith said.
“People are looking for a higher level of transparency,” said Britanny Carter, an analyst at the market research firm IBISWorld.