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Lincoln police are investigating an early morning robbery Thursday in the parking lot at Gateway Mall.

Sgt. Angela Sands said shortly after 2 a.m. a 58-year-old man went there to meet a man he had connected with on the Grindr dating app.

She said the man he’d met online got into the passenger seat of his car. But, as they were talking, the victim heard a knock on his window and saw another man standing at his door with a hood pulled around his face.

Sands said the 58-year-old man believed he was being robbed and that the man in the passenger seat was in on it. When the man demanded money, the victim opened the passenger door and tried to push him out. He ultimately got him out of the car but not until the passenger punched the victim in the face and stole his cellphone.

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She said the victim saw the two men get into a car together as he drove away.

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