Navigating Knoxville’s dating scene can be dangerous and expensive, especially if you’re trying to find a date online.
On May 29, at 12:16 a.m., the Knoxville Police Department received a phone call from a man reporting a cash theft. He had met a woman who called herself Michelle on a singles website. After they began communicating, however, she revealed that this was not her real name. She said she had used a fake name as a precaution after being warned by her mother about online predators. The two of them met for their first date on the night of May 28. He picked her up at the address she gave him, and once she got in his car she told him that her sister had offered to sell them two passes for unlimited movies, drinks, and popcorn for $70. After she agreed to pay him back for the passes later that night, he gave her $70 in cash and then drove to her sister’s house.
She went inside the residence to purchase the passes and quickly returned with an envelope, which she placed above the passenger visor. The woman then asked to be taken to the apartment complex where her mother lived. She claimed to have left her purse in her mother’s car and needed to retrieve it in order to repay him for the passes. When they arrived at the apartment complex, she went inside, leaving the envelope in the car with the man. After a significant period of time passed, he called her cell phone, and she said she would return shortly. More time passed and the woman never came back to the car. He tried calling her again, only to find she had turned her cell phone off.
When he looked in the envelope that allegedly contained the movie passes, he found nothing but an old church bulletin.