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Cops: Man meets online date at Rodeway Inn, where she and pals steal his cash

An undated Google Maps image shows the Rodeway

An undated Google Maps image shows the Rodeway Inn located in Huntington. Photo Credit: Google

He had a date with Destiny that went bad Tuesday, Suffolk police said.

The victim, a 30-year-old man from Huntington, answered an online ad from Destiny Sheperd, 21, of Central Islip and arranged a rendezvous for that night at the Rodeway Inn in Huntington Station, police said.

"It was their first time meeting," said Det. Sgt. Scott Welshimer of the Second Precinct.

But about 3:30 a.m., she called or texted three male friends who were nearby, he said.

"They come in, they threaten him and they take his money," Welshimer said.

They took $400 from him, and after the victim fled the room, he called police, Welshimer said.

The four were still in the room when officers arrived, the detective said: "I don't think they thought he was going to call the police."

Sheperd, of 81 Vanderbilt Ave., and her three friends were each charged with second-degree robbery and are expected to be arraigned Wednesday, police said. The three men are also from Central Islip: Timothy Clark, 21, of 9 Ash St.; and Gerone Garcia, 20, and Mario Malpica, 21, both of 6 Willow St.

Welshimer declined to name the website but said detectives are looking for similar ads there and anything else that is suspicious.

Online daters should be careful arranging face-to-face encounters, he said. "We recommend they meet people in public places, until they're sure who it is they're meeting, for their own safety."

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