Surrey RCMP is warning the public once again about arranging meet-ups through online marketplace apps.
In a 24-hour period, there were three alleged robberies in Surrey that involved the theft of high-end gaming consoles after people arranged meet-ups through Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, according to a release from Surrey RCMP Wednesday (Nov. 18).
The first incident happened Nov. 16, shortly after 8 p.m., when Surrey RCMP said officers received a report of an alleged robbery near 136A Street and 114 Avenue.
Surrey RCMP said 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. Police added that at the meeting location, two men allegedly assaulted the seller and stole the console.
The one suspect, according to Surrey RCMP, is described as about 18 to 21 years old, 5’11”, with a slender build, “less than 160 lbs.,” wearing a mask and black or grey zip-up hoodie. The release adds the second suspect is “believed to be Middle Eastern and slightly taller and bigger than the first suspect.”
The second incident happened on Nov. 17, shortly before 3 p.m., when police said officer received a report of another man who was allegedly robbed of his Xbox in the 6100-block of 146th Street. Surrey RCMP added the seller met the potentional buyer on Craigslist and arranged a meeting.
According to the release, the seller was allegedly bear sprayed and robbed by three men.
Then about an hour later, around 4 p.m., Surrey RCMP received a report that a third man was allegedly robbed of his gaming console.
The incident happened in the 8200-block of 168A Street where the seller met the buyer after arranging the meet-up through Craigslist. Police said the seller was allegedly bear sprayed and robbed of their Playstation 5.
The suspects in the third incident are described as three South Asian males, according to Surrey RCMP.
Surrey RCMP is once again reminding people to use caution when arranging meet-ups, with the following tips:
• 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 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 Crime Stoppers, if they wish to remain anonymous, at 1-800-222-8477 or solvecrime.ca.