Victorian man jailed for armed robbery of man he met on Grindr

thomas samas victoria melbourne court grindr armed robbery sentence
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A man in Victoria who used Grindr to lure another man into a frightening armed robbery in southern Geelong has been jailed.

A judge in the County Court of Victoria sentenced Thomas Samas to 95 days in jail on Monday, in combination with a community correction order, the Geelong Advertiser reported.

The 23-year-old pleaded guilty to armed robbery after he used Grindr to arrange the meeting with the 20-year-old victim in December 2018.

The court heard the pair traded photos on the app before the victim drove to the town of St Leonards to pick up Samas. They then returned to the victim’s home in the suburb of Grovedale.

However shortly after arriving at the man’s address, Samas revealed a serrated kitchen knife hidden in his pants.

He told the victim, “I am not going to hurt you. I am taking your car.”

He then walked outside and fled in the victim’s Suzuki Swift, which he had parked in the driveway.

“The complainant was terrified and did not know what might happen to him or what to do,” the prosecutor said.

Police recovered the car two weeks later more than 100km away, the court heard.

Thomas Samas ‘severly disinhibited by drugs’ during Grindr robbery

County Court Judge Irene Lawson said the robbery victim was a “soft target” and the incident left him very frightened.

“The complainant met you in good faith and your actions constitute a breach of trust,” he said.

Judge Lawson said Samas’s explanation for the crime was that he was “severely disinhibited by drugs” at the time.

Samas was not immediately charged and later committed another attempted armed robbery, also involving the use of Grindr.

He was subsequently jailed for two years and four months for the latter incident. That prison term lapsed earlier this year.

Samas was charged over the earlier Grovedale robbery last July, and has already served 78 days of pre-sentence detention.

Upon his release, he must complete a two-year correction order that involves assessment and treatment for drug and alcohol use.

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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