THE Surrey RCMP Robbery Unit has arrested a 16-year-old youth for a string of alleged robberies that reportedly involved the use of the online marketplace app, Letgo.
The four robberies occurred between March 15 and June 27 in Whalley. Each of these incidents took place during daylight hours and were the result of meet-ups arranged online for the purpose of buying high-value cellphones. During the encounters, the victims were allegedly sprayed with bear mace and robbed of their cellphones.
With the help of witnesses, the Surrey RCMP Robbery Unit identified the suspect and on August 13, the suspect was arrested. The suspect was released on conditions and is scheduled to appear in court at a later date.
“There’s always a risk in meeting someone you don’t know through an online marketplace app, even in daylight hours,” said Cpl. Dan Lowe of the Surrey RCMP Robbery Unit. “It’s important for the public to be aware of the risk before considering this type of transaction.”
Surrey RCMP once again reminds people that meeting with strangers through online marketplace apps can pose a risk to their safety. It’s important to practice extra safety measures before and during these meetings. Here are some tips recommended by the Surrey RCMP Robbery Unit:
* Insist on a public meeting place during the day, such as local businesses with regular foot traffic
* Gather as much information as possible so you know who you’re dealing with, such as their full name and cell phone number
* 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 extra 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
* Always trust your instincts while arranging a meeting
Anyone with information about these robberies is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or, if they wish to make an anonymous report, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or www.solvecrime.ca.