Gay community target of "confidence trickster"
by Lena Lee
Police have charged an alleged prostitute who is believed to have befriended and stolen from gay men in a spree spanning three Australian states.
According to Victoria Police acting gay liaison officer, Inspector Steven Pierce, 28-year-old David Carroll befriended his latest victim, moved in with him and later stole his car and other personal items. Carroll, who is originally from New Zealand but has lived in Australia for several years, was charged in late February this year for car theft, unlawful possession and "other criminal matters committed on other members of the gay community".
"(Carroll) is alleged to be a male prostitute who travels from state to state and befriends other gay persons and gains their confidence, (before stealing) the other person's car, credit cards and other personal items," Inspector Pierce said.
The officer said this is the only case in Melbourne involving Carroll that police are aware of, but adds that the man is known throughout Australia for similar activities.
Police also believe he sometimes uses the name Benjamin James.
"(We) are concerned that further offences have been committed, but the victims have not reported," said Inspector Pierce.
Pierce called on members of the community with similar experiences to contact Senior Constable Shane Bourke of Ocean Grove Police at 52562698 or Inspector Pierce on 9247 5236.
Carroll, who is currently on bail, will have his case heard at Geelong Magistrates Court on 22nd March.
Melbourne Star Observer: 19th March
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