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Couple sets up fake prostitution sting to rob a man

Couple sets up fake prostitution sting to rob a man

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (WTVN) -- A couple lured in a man with a fake prostitution advertisement and then staged a police raid where they robbed him in a motel room.

Reynoldsburg Police say Joseph Dean and his girlfriend, Marcie Phalen, set up the meeting at the Days Inn on Brice Road over the weekend. The victim told police he had arranged to meet Phalen for sex after chatting with her online.

Moments after the victim got to the motel room, Dean appeared, dressed as a police officer. He had a badge around his neck, a tactical vest, a taser, hand cuffs, and two-way radio.

"He came in, quickly apprehended I guess you could say or restricted the victim of his liberty by handcuffing his hands behind his back," Lt. Ron Wright told our news partners at ABC 6.

That's when the man was robbed. He was able to get loose and chase the couple as they left. Wright says he was able to get the license plate number of the getaway vehicle.

Police were able to track the vehicle to Dean's home in Reynoldsburg. Inside they police found a badge, handcuffs, and two-way radios allegedly used during the robbery. 

Phalen was arrested along with the getaway driver. Dean was arrested three days later in Hilliard.

"We do feel that there might be other victims out there," Wright said.

Often these types of crimes go unreported because the victims are embarrassed to admit they were looking for prostitutes.

Phalen is charged with obstruction of justice, and is expected to appear in court on Wednesday. 

Dean is scheduled to be arraigned on March 10.

 

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