0

Robbery set up via dating site; SWAT called

DULUTH -- Talk about a rough first date.

A Villa Rica man drove to Duluth early Friday morning hoping to meet up with a woman he met online. He got robbed at gunpoint instead, and his alleged assailants later triggered a SWAT call.

Duluth police were called to a local gas station at about 3:30 a.m. Friday, the 29-year-old alleged victim reporting that he had been robbed at the nearby Hampton Arbors apartments just a few minutes earlier. The victim said he had met 27-year-old Madeline Tronrud on the dating site pof.com, and after speaking to her on the phone for a few days, agreed to drive to Duluth and meet at her apartment.

When he arrived in the complex, Tronrud -- whose dating site user name is "ATLSfinestBrewofSexay" -- allegedly directed him to go park near the dumpsters at the rear of the complex and wait there.

"(The victim) stepped out of his vehicle and attempted to locate the female suspect, but instead only saw a skinny black male wearing a hoodie approach him," according to the initial police report. "This unknown black male approached (the victim) and brandished a large black gun and told him to empty his pockets and give him all the money."

The dateless male surrendered his cellphone, debit card and about $100 cash before the gunman fled on foot.

Duluth Police Maj. Don Woodruff said investigators visited the apartment complex later Friday morning, but "the suspects would not come out or talk to our officers."

"Based on an Internet search and the fact they were investigating an armed robbery," Woodruff said, "our officers knew the suspects were armed."

The SWAT team from the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department was called out and "about to make entry" into the apartment before the suspects voluntarily surrendered, police said.

A total of three suspects were being charged Friday, including 23-year-old Marcell Horton and 22-year-old Brian Thomas. It was unclear which male was the alleged gunman in the robbery, and what specific role the other male may have played in the crime.

Charges were still pending Friday afternoon, Woodruff said.

Tronrud, who lived in the apartment the victim was lured to, is also being charged in the crime. Her online dating profile warns "all who are deceiving thieves, blood-thirsty and negative energy stay away from me please."

A few more words of wisdom are also stripped across the top: "2 THINGS ARE INFINITE: The Universe & Human Stupidity."