SURREY RCMP announced on Wednesday that three robberies of high-end gaming consoles occurred within a 24-hour period in the city during meet-ups arranged through Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.
On Monday, November 16, shortly after 8 p.m., Surrey RCMP received a report of a robbery near 136A Street and 114th Avenue. A man was robbed of a PlayStation 5 gaming console by two unknown men after arranging a meet-up to sell the device through Facebook Marketplace. At the meeting location, two men assaulted the seller and stole the gaming console.
The suspects were described as:
* Approximately 18-21 years old, 5’11” tall, slender build, “less than 160 lbs”, wearing a mask and black or grey zip-up hooded sweater.
* Believed to be Middle Eastern and slightly taller and bigger than the first suspect.
On November 17, shortly before 3 p.m., Surrey RCMP received a report of another man who was robbed of his Xbox, in the 6100-block of 146th Street. The seller met a potential buyer on Craigslist and a meeting was arranged. At the meeting location, the seller was bear sprayed and robbed by three men.
Approximately an hour later, shortly before 4 p.m., Surrey RCMP received a report that a third man was also robbed of his PlayStation 5, in the 8200-block of 168A Street. The seller met the interested buyer on Craigslist and was bear sprayed and robbed of the gaming console during the meet-up. The suspects were described as three South Asian males.
The Surrey RCMP Robbery Unit has assumed conduct of all three investigation and are working to identify the suspects.
The Surrey RCMP Robbery Unit is urging the public to use caution when arranging meet-ups using online marketplace apps. The following safety tips are recommended when meeting with unknown persons to buy or sell an item:
* Insist on a public meeting place during the day, such as local businesses with regular foot traffic.
* Gather as much information as possible such as their full name and cell phone number so you know who you’re dealing with.
* Do not meet in a secluded place or invite strangers into your home.
* Only meet during daylight hours or in a well-lit and heavily populated area.
* Be especially careful when buying or selling high value items.
* Tell a friend or family member where you’re going and when you’re meeting the buyer/seller.
* Take your cell phone and a friend along to accompany you.
Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502, or CrimeStoppers, if they wish to remain anonymous, at 1-800-222-8477 or www.solvecrime.ca.