PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. — An armed carjacker accused of setting up his victim by using the Grindr dating app has been sentenced to serve 20 years in prison, Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy announced Thursday.
Twenty-four-year-old Wayne Anthony Robinson of Capitol Heights pled guilty and was sentenced earlier in the week, Braveboy said.
Braveboy said the case is proof that prosecutors are aggressively holding carjackers accountable in the face of skyrocketing incidents.
According to investigators, the online date was arranged on Grindr about an hour before the incident on at 1:25 a.m. on August 10, 2020.
Robinson directed the victim to pick him up in front of an Adelphi-area apartment complex. The couple then drove to the nearby Adelphi Manor Recreation area parking lot.
Robinson pulled a gun and forced the victim to take off his pants and lie face down on the ground at gunpoint.
Robinson then jumped in the victim’s Hyundai Tucson and took off. The victim’s wallet and cell phone were stolen as well.
The victim fled to a nearby neighborhood and knocked on the door of the nearest home to get help. Residents called police.
Responding officers spotted the carjacked Tucson in the 1900 block of Ruatan Street. After a pursuit Robinson bailed out of the SUV and ran along the Northwest Branch Trail, where he was eventually tracked down by a police K-9 unit and arrested.
Investigators say they recovered a loaded Glock handgun as well as clothes and cash that Robinson discarded during the chase.
Braveboy cautioned residents to be careful about using apps that might expose them to being robbed, carjacked or victimized.
She said she supports proposed new legislation that enhances sentences against “organized crime” groups that she says are directing carjackings.
Braveboy explained that many juvenile carjackers are directed by adults who supply weapons in order to get cars that can be stripped of high value parts such as catalytic converters and wheels.
Braveboy said the roots of the carjacking epidemic lie in the pandemic, which left many juveniles idle and unsupervised at home. At the same time, she said other opportunities for crime such as robbing businesses were not available because of the pandemic shutdowns.
Carjacking went on to gain favor with teens who got an “instant high” from committing crimes, that they then boasted about on social channels, according to Braveboy.
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