'He Met Her Online, Proposed After A Week & Then Stole $80,000': Alleged 'Romance Romeo'
Investigators tracked down John Martin Hill to a residence in Duluth, where he was allegedly residing with another woman and a child.
FRANKLIN, TN — Police in Tennessee have arrested a man who allegedly scammed a woman he met on a dating website out of $80,000 — and they warn that there may be more victims of the alleged "Romance Fraud Romeo" out there.
John Martin Hill was arrested at the Cool Springs Marriott in Franklin, Tennessee, on an outstanding warrant in connection with the alleged theft, according to People.
After police arrived on the scene, Hill allegedly “attempted to evade arriving Franklin Police Officers by darting into a hotel conference room and hiding under a table,” the Franklin Police Department says in a news release.
Police got the tip about the alleged scam when a woman in Alpharetta, Georgia, called the Gwinnett County Police Department and said that shortly after she met Hill online, he told her that he was millionaire. Hill allegedly asked the woman to marry him, and began house-hunting with her. Then, she alleges that he asked her for $80,000 to buy a home and furniture.
The alleged victim told authorities that she believed Hill's story, and gave him the money. "Following the exchange of money, the suspect ceased all contact," the Gwinnett County news release reads.
Investigators tracked Hill down to a residence in Duluth, Georgia, where he was allegedly residing with another woman and a child.
“Further investigation into John Hill revealed that he has changed his name over five times in the past two and a half years,” police say in the release. And they also say that they believe that there could be more victims out there.
Police are investigating the possibility that Hill could be linked to similar crimes in Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey, according to CBS 46.
Investigators say they have been contacted by other women who allege that they were either in a relationship with Hill or knew someone who was, the release says. Police say that they are now looking into these allegations.
Tennessee police have warned online daters to use caution when sharing personal information with strangers. "By sharing this story, it is our hope that he is not able to victimize any other women using this scam. When meeting someone online, be very cautious sharing personal information, financial information, or cash with someone in the early stages of a relationship," the press release reads. "These types of con men are very good at manipulating their victims. They tend to say everything that a woman wants to hear."
It is unclear if Hill has retained an attorney who can speak on his behalf, according to People. He is being held at the Williamson County Jail in Tennessee on a $500,000 bond, and is awaiting extradition to Georgia, where he faces a felony charge of theft by deception.
Anyone with information on Hill is asked to contact GCPD detectives at (770) 513-5300. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers at (404) 577-TIPS (8477) or visit www.stopcrimeATL.com.
Read more: People, CBS46, Gwinnett County