Man charged with robbery with knife

July 10, 2019 Cranberry Local News

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James Rooks

CRANBERRY TWP — A Florida man allegedly used a dating app to lure a victim to a township parking garage before robbing him at knifepoint on June 30.

James Rooks, 37, of Fort Lauderdale is charged with multiple felonies, including robbery with threats to inflict bodily harm, criminal use of a communication facility, theft by unlawful taking, and receiving stolen property. He is also charged with misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance.

According to the criminal complaint, officers were called to a Cross Creek Drive residence for an armed robbery report. The alleged victim said he had been communicating with Rooks via the Grindr dating app. Police report that the two agreed to meet at a location on Cross Creek Drive and went into a parking garage.

Rooks allegedly displayed a knife and told the victim to give him all of his belongings, according to authorities. The victim and Rooks allegedly got into a brief physical confrontation before Rooks fled the area with the victim's belongings.

Police report that Rooks made off with the victim's cell phone, Coach wallet, cash and credit cards, totaling more than $2,000 in value.

Police located the cell phone in a dumpster, and Rooks was found inside an apartment in the building. According to the complaint, Rooks admitted he was in an altercation with the victim, and police found him to be in possession of the stolen items, as well as 9.8 grams of methamphetamine.

Rooks is being held in Butler County Prison on $100,000 cash bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Friday.

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J.W.  Johnson Jr.

J.W. Johnson Jr.

J.W. Johnson Jr. is the bureau chief of the Cranberry Eagle. Johnson is a native of Bellaire, Ohio, and graduated from Bellaire High School in 2004. He is a 2009 graduate of Ohio University in Athens with a bachelor of specialized studies degree in English and journalism. While there, he served as a reporter and editor at The Post, the university’s student-run, independent newspaper. In 2009, he was hired as a reporter for The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register in Wheeling, W.Va. Over the course of eight years, he also served as Marshall County bureau chief, city editor and news editor. He also won two first place West Virginia Press Association Awards for his reporting and design work. He and his wife, Maureen, live in Carnegie.