Man Jailed for Targeting LGBT+ Community in Bromley and London with Drugging and Theft Scheme

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Home Breaking Man Jailed for Targeting LGBT+ Community in Bromley and London with Drugging and Theft Scheme

Man Jailed for Targeting LGBT+ Community in Bromley and London with Drugging and Theft Scheme

A Colombian national has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for conspiring to drug and steal from members of the LGBT+ community in Bromley and other parts of London.

Man Jailed For Targeting LGBT+ Community In Bromley And London With Drugging And Theft Scheme

Brandon Conrado-Gamboa, 30, who had no fixed address in the UK, was found guilty of conspiring to commit aggravated burglary and drugging and stealing high-value possessions from four victims using the sleeping drug Zolpidem. His sentencing took place on Friday, May 24.

Man Jailed For Targeting LGBT+ Community In Bromley And London With Drugging And Theft Scheme

Metropolitan Police investigations revealed that Conrado-Gamboa targeted London’s LGBT+ communities through the dating app Grindr. His accomplice, Nelson Alexander Escobar Porras, is still wanted and is believed to be in Barcelona, Spain. The Metropolitan Police and Crown Prosecution Service are collaborating with Spanish authorities to extradite Porras back to the UK.

Man Jailed For Targeting LGBT+ Community In Bromley And London With Drugging And Theft Scheme

Conrado-Gamboa was apprehended after a series of reports from victims who had encountered him on Grindr between December 31, 2022, and January 9, 2023, in areas including Brentford, Hampton, Hounslow, and Bromley.

Man Jailed For Targeting LGBT+ Community In Bromley And London With Drugging And Theft Scheme

The police investigation uncovered that Conrado-Gamboa and Porras used fake profiles to lure victims, drug them, and steal their possessions. The meticulous planning of their crimes was revealed through CCTV footage, phone data, and airline information, showing that they flew to England one day before their spree of offending.

Man Jailed For Targeting LGBT+ Community In Bromley And London With Drugging And Theft Scheme

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.”

Man Jailed For Targeting LGBT+ Community In Bromley And London With Drugging And Theft Scheme

Victims provided crucial support to the investigation by sharing screenshots of conversations from the dating app. The investigation team also found evidence of the pair attempting to sell the stolen goods.

Man Jailed For Targeting LGBT+ Community In Bromley And London With Drugging And Theft Scheme

Gamboa was apprehended at Gatwick Airport on February 23, 2024.

Detective Chief Inspector Dan O’Sullivan, one of the Met’s LGBT+ leads, advised on the case and commented on the sentencing: “As the Met reforms, we are doing more to protect and support LGBT+ victims while tackling spiking and bringing callous offenders to justice. My team worked incredibly hard throughout this investigation. PC Sade Kujore-Taylor was rightly commended by the judge at sentencing for her diligence in such a complex investigation.”

The Metropolitan Police are encouraging LGBT+ community members to report crimes and seek help with confidence. They have introduced LGBT+ Community Liaison Officers and are working with partners like Drinkaware to educate officers on emerging trends in spiking and better support LGBT+ victims.

Karen Tyrell, CEO of Drinkaware, emphasized the importance of the police’s work in tackling crimes affecting the LGBT+ community: “Our research shows that LGBTQ+ adults are more likely to be ‘physically threatened’ and have ‘police contact’ as a result of other peoples’ drinking, compared to non-LGBTQ+ adults, highlighting their disproportionate vulnerability. The work of the police in tackling crimes that affect the LGBTQ+ community is really important and successful prosecutions help encourage people to come forward and report if they have been a victim of a crime, like drink spiking.

Advice from the Metropolitan Police on meeting people online:

  • Tell someone: Inform a friend, housemate, or family member of your plans.
  • Get contact details: Obtain a phone number and a live photo/video.
  • Switch to messaging apps: Use messaging apps for additional security.
  • Verify information: Gather as much verifiable information as possible.
  • Secure your valuables: Hide your valuables during the meeting.
  • Monitor your drink: Pour your own drink and keep it in sight.
  • Check images: Use reverse image search to detect potential scams.
  • Trust your instincts: Follow your gut feeling if something feels off.

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