Police Warn of Meeting Online Strangers In-Person

Posted: Updated:

HARLINGEN – A warning from police about meeting online strangers in life.

Harlingen police said a man was set to meet a woman from a website when he was robbed.

Investigators have the alleged robbery suspect in custody, but the woman that the victim was meeting was never located.

Officials don’t know if she ever existed in the first place.

Similar scenarios sometimes start as this case did. A guy meets a girl online, after an exchange of some messages; he goes to meet the woman.

The victim was supposed to meet the woman on the 800 block of North 27th Street.

Police said that’s when Abel Turrubiates Jr. allegedly held a knife to the victim and demanded money.

The victim gave him his money and was able to get away.

Turrubiates was arrested for aggravated robbery and has a $100,000 bond, but what about the woman?

“There was never any actual verbal communication, it was all done by text,” said Harlingen Police Sgt. Larry Moore. “When we arrived on scene and conducted our investigation, there was no female located anywhere at the residence.”

It’s a chilling reminder as more and more people turn to mobile applications and websites to meet new faces.

“If you’re not familiar with where you’re going or who you’re going to meet, take someone with you so you always have someone at your side,” said Moore.

Authorities are warning to stay careful in those situations.

Harlingen Police Department has special parking spots reserved for people who are selling items on websites, such as Craigslist, to have a safe meeting spot.

Moore said if anyone is meeting a stranger offline, they can utilize those spaces as well.

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