INDIANAPOLIS — A 25-year-old man from Indianapolis has been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to robbing four different men who he had arranged to meet using the dating app Grindr.
According to court documents, Demetrius Banks committed the four robberies between May 15, 2021, and May 21, 2021. Using Grindr to communicate with his victims, Banks arranged to meet with the men under the pretense of having sex but instead would show up at their apartments with a pistol and rob his victims at gunpoint.
Court documents reveal that while at one of his victims’ apartments, Banks used the victim’s cellphone to wire himself $500 through Cash App. But Banks didn’t stop there, however, also stealing a 46″ television, two Mac laptops, an iWatch, an iPad and approximately 30 pieces of jewelry from the victim’s apartment.
The same day, Banks met up with another victim and shoved his way into the man’s apartment and stole both money and a cellphone from the victim.
Court documents reveal one of the victims attempted to fight back during a robbery on May 16, 2021, despite answering the door completely naked. According to the court documents, Banks showed up at the victim’s apartment wearing a mask and brandishing a pistol after agreeing to meet up for sex. While being led to the bedroom, the victim attempted to disarm Banks which led to a struggle. During the tussle, the firearm discharged twice with one bullet striking a wall and another bullet striking the victim’s television. Banks fled after getting free.
On May 21, 2021, Banks struck again arranging to meet with a victim who he ordered to lay face down on a bed at gunpoint. Banks then stole the man’s cellphone along with his jewelry, laptop, Airpods and jewelry. Banks threatened to kill the man before finally leaving the residence.
But by the time of his fourth robbery, detectives had already been closing in on Banks though after linking him to the Cash App account that he had wired money to during his first robbery. On May 24, detectives located Banks’ vehicle parked in the IU Methodist Hospital parking garage. Officers waited until Banks returned and took him into custody without incident, documents said.
During interviews with detectives, Banks at first admitted to using Grindr to meet up with the men but denied committing armed robbery. He claimed the victims had willingly given him the items he stole due to them not being able to afford having sex with him. Later, after further questioning, Banks would admit to the crimes, however.
After serving his 12-year federal prison sentence, Banks will be required to serve two years on probation.