A Geelong man was sentenced to jail for 95 days for using Grindr to lure another man in an armed robbery. Thomas Samas pleaded guilty in the County Court on Monday to stealing a 20-year old man’s car in 2018.

This was not the only time that Samas has used a similar modus operandi. In 2019, Samas had committed another armed robbery that involved luring a man on Grindr and then decamping with his car after threatening him. He was sentenced for just over two years for that incident and the prison term ended earlier this year.

‘I Am Not Going To Hurt You’

According to The Geelong Advertiser, in the 2018 incident, Samas traded photos with another man on Grindr and arranged to meet at St Leonards. The victim had planned to pick up Samas and then drive him back to his place in Grovedale.

However, when the pair returned to the victim’s house, Samas pulled a serrated kitchen knife from his pants and told the victim to give him his car. “I am not going to hurt you. I am taking your car,” Samas said to the victim before fleeing in his Suzuki Swift.

The victim called triple zero immediately after the robbery and described the distinctive tattoos Samas showed him to help track him down.

After committing the crime Samas had ended up in hospital because of a drug-induced psychosis. The car was recovered two weeks later by the police, who found it 100km away from the victims house.

Tattoos Led To Arrest

One of the tattoos Samas showed the victim was used to identify him, but the drug induced robber was not charged for this armed robbery until July 2020 because of police officers leaving the force or being seconded to other assignments.

He has already served 78 days of pre-sentence detention and will also have to complete a two-year correction order that involves assessment and treatment for drug and alcohol use. County Court Judge Irene Lawson said the incident had left the robbery victim frightened. 

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

The judge also described the crime as unsophisticated as there was no attempt by Samas to disguise himself and he was clearly “severely disinhibited by drugs” at the time.

According to Judge Lawson, Samas had shown signs of reforming during his first prison sentence and wants to continue with his drug and mental health treatment programs. He has been ordered to stay with his mum after completing his prison term. 

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