BOSTON (WPRI) — A Taunton man was in court this week for allegedly robbing a man at knifepoint in Boston’s North End earlier this year.
Joshua Alves, 22, is charged with masked and armed robbery, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office said.
The victim walked into the police station to report the robbery that happened at Cleveland Place on Jan. 29.
The victim told police he had arranged to meet with a woman he met on a dating website and pay her $400. When the victim arrived, he was approached by two masked men. One of the men was holding a knife and yelled that the woman on the dating site was their underaged sister.
The men took $60 in cash from the victim and forced him to unlock his phone, according to the report. They then used the mobile payment app Venmo to transfer $1,000 from the victim’s account.
The victim gave police screenshots of his conversations with the woman and the Venmo transaction. Investigators say Alves was the recipient of the transfer.
In a press release, District Attorney Kevin Hayden said the crime should remind people to use caution when meeting someone in person for the first time.
“This was a very digital-aged crime in that it contained elements of two online entities—a dating site and a Venmo account. I’m grateful there were no injuries and that the victim reported everything to the police,” Hayden added.
Alves was released on personal recognizance and ordered to stay away from the victim. He is due back in court on Dec. 4.