Man who drugged and burgled men he met on Grindr jailed for 11 years

A man who “maliciously preyed” on his Grindr dates before drugging and burgling their homes has been jailed for 11 years. 

Columbian national Brandon Conrado-Gamboa, 30, of no fixed address, was sentenced on Friday (24 May), for conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary. 

Conrado-Gamboa’s victims were targeted through the gay dating and hook-up app Grindr between 31 December 2022 and 9 January, 2023 in Brentford, Hampton, Hounslow and Bromley. 

Metropolitan Police officers discovered that Conrado-Gamboa arrived in the UK before using fake profiles to lure victims, drug them using the sleeping drug, zolpidem, and steal their possessions. 

A suspected accomplice is still wanted

A suspected accomplice, Nelson Alexander Escobar Porras, is still wanted by police and believed to be in Barcelona, Spain. The Met and Crown Prosecution service are working to extradite him back to the UK. 

Police constable Sade Kujore-Taylor, who led the investigation, said: “Both men maliciously preyed on victims using a dating app and exploited their trust. My team worked long hours in a bid to gather evidence against Gamboa which led to the conviction.”

Met Police claims it is ‘doing more’ to protect and support LGBTQ+ victims

One of the Met Police’s LGBT+ leads, officer detective chief inspector Dan O’Sullivan said: “As the Met reforms, we are doing more to protect and support LGBT+ victims, while tackling spiking and bringing callous offenders to justice.” 

O’Sullivan added: “You can report spiking anonymously online on behalf of yourself or someone else at Report spiking | Metropolitan Police.” 

Grindr was found to be 2023’s most popular dating app among users aged 54 and up, according to a study from Ofcom.

In April, Grindr launched its travel mode, which allows users to connect with others worldwide. 

This year has seen the trans-inclusive dating app also announce that it’s hoping to move away from hookup culture by focusing on features geared towards “long-term dating, travel, and professional networking”. 

Check out our tips and advice for staying safe on Grindr and online dating and hook-up apps.

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