CONWAY, Ark. – An Arkansas woman is still looking for love after a man she met online allegedly stole her SUV during their date, forcing her to call the police to get it back, FOX 16 said in a report.
April Wesley says she owes the end of bad luck streak to Conway Police after they successfully tracked down the accused car thief and returned her vehicle.
Her troubles began when she matched with a man who called himself Joshua on the popular swiping dating app, Tinder. Users get to see a few pictures of other people’s profiles with a short bio about who they are (or claim to be).
In April’s case, she thought she would be meeting up with a nice, well-mannered chef from Little Rock, Arkansas. After just one date, she hadn’t picked up on any unusual warning signs or red flags, she said.
The single mother has had experiences with online dates before, but never thought something like this would actually happen.
“I worry about them being psycho serial killers or things like that, but stealing my car never crossed my mind,” April said. “I was under the impression he was a chef, and that he was a very upstanding person, and he was not.”
According to her story, April and “Joshua” had been on a second date and were back at April’s house. At one point, the suspect managed to get the keys from April’s young child by telling him that he had left something inside the SUV. Once he had the keys, he took off in her vehicle.
“He told my son he forgot something in my car, I wasn’t in the room and my son handed him they key,” April explained. Of course I tried to call him a couple of times, he didn’t answer me.”
Realizing that the whole relationship had been a sham in order to take advantage of her, April turned to the Conway Police Department for help.
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Amazingly, it took the officers almost no time at all to track the car thief down and get him into custody. FOX 16 said that “Joshua” was no more than five miles away from where he had stolen the SUV at April’s residence when they found him.
“I’m just really amazed by their response time,” April said, noting that the officers didn’t just use their experience and position to take down the car thief, but also lended a kind word of advice. “I had an officer come here [her house] to literally take me to my car because I had no way to get to it,” she explained. “He even gave me a little advice about there being great people in the world, but not to trust everyone.”
She said while the experience was traumatic, she now had even more faith in her community protectors.
“They were very compassionate with the situation. They let me know many people get taken advantage of,” she said. “I just need to remember everyone is not a good person.”
April said that the entire experience has given her pause about who she interacts with.
“I’ll be happy if I never saw his face again,” she said about her date. “We’d been talking for a while and I just thought he was okay.”
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April did not press charges against the man for making off with her car, but police arrested him on several outstanding warrants.
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