POLICE have released a picture of a man they want to talk to after three men were attacked by a man they began speaking to on the gay dating app Grindr.

The three incidents are being treated as linked and police believe the same man is responsible for each of the crimes. The attacker also tried to steal the victims’ cars.

A CCTV image has been released of a man police want to speak to in connection with the attacks.

As well as appealing for potential witnesses, officers are directly appealing to users of the Grindr app who may have encountered the man pictured, or fallen victim to someone they met on the application.

The first victim, aged in his 50s, was threatened at home in Salford on Monday evening by a man with a knife who demanded his car keys. When he couldn’t get the car started he fled the scene.

An hour later in Prestwich, a man in his 40s had a knife held to his throat by a man in Bury Old Road who demanded car keys. The victim received small cuts to his throat, back and forearm and was taken to hospital, where he remains in a stable condition.

A third man, aged in his 20s, was attacked on Tuesday by a man who was a passenger in his car in Bolton Road, Pendlebury as they were parked on the roadside. He demanded the car keys before stabbing the man several times.

The attacker then fled the scene on foot. His victim remains in hospital with serious injuries.

Chief Inspector Amanda Delamore said: “We believe that the same person is responsible for these premeditated acts of violence. The injuries inflicted upon these men became progressively more violent with each attack and it’s imperative that anyone with information on these crimes contact us immediately.

“As well as appealing for witnesses, I’d like to appeal to anyone who uses Grindr and recognises the man in the image we’ve released to get in touch as a matter of urgency.

“Like other forms of online communication; dating applications carry risks. We’d urge people to be cautious when agreeing to meet strangers they have been speaking to online.

“Always meet someone new in a public place first, let someone know where you’re going and never give out personal information to someone you’ve just met.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 0161 856 8172 or the Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.