Ohio Cop Alarmed Over New GPS-Enabled Cell Phone App

Detectives are urging parents to check their children's phones for a new application that could be used to make them targets.


CINCINNATI --

Detectives are urging parents to check their children's phones for a new application that could be used to make them targets.

The phone application is called "Grindr." It's meant to help gay and bisexual men connect via a GPS ability that tells them when another app user is nearby.

However, police are concerned because the application only asks the user to voluntarily confirm his age, and that it cannot properly verify the user's actual age.

Blue Ash police said they arrested Michael Ives after he allegedly used the app to meet and have sex with a 15-year-old boy. Ives is being held on a $50,000 bond.

Several police agencies News 5 spokes with said they are aware of the app, and are working to uncover any underage abuse.

Agents said the app makes it too easy for youngsters to be targeted and that most parents know nothing about it.

Parent Pat Scheer said it can be tough keeping up with the technology her teens use.

"It's almost like a full-time job keeping up with the technology at home," Scheer said.

"She knows that I text or talk to other people on the phone, but she doesn't know I have applications, or search the Web and stuff," Scheer's daughter, Jenn Scheer, said.

While Scheer's children don't use the Grindr app, they admitted that most parents wouldn't know if their children did.

"I check up on things here or there from time to time, but mostly I just trust them," Pat Scheer said.

The app maker is also working on an app that works the same, but is for straight people looking for an instant connection.

Police said they'll keep an eye on any underage kids being targeted as a result of that program, as well.

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