Surrey RCMP say a 16-year-old has been arrested in connection with a “string of robberies,” allegedly using the online marketplace app, Letgo.
The four robberies happened between March 15 and June 27 in Whalley, according to a release from Surrey RCMP Thursday (Aug. 20).
Police said that each of the incidents happened in the daylight hours and “were the result of meet ups arranged online for the purpose of buying high-value cellphones.”
During the transactions, Surrey RCMP said the victims were allegedly sprayed with bear mace and robbed of their cellphones.
The Surrey RCMP Robbery Unit, with the help of witnesses, identified the suspect, according to the release.
Police say the teen was arrested on Aug. 13, and released on conditions with a court date scheduled.
“There’s always a risk in meeting someone you don’t know through an online marketplace app, even in daylight hours.” said Corporal 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 is once again reminding people that meeting with strangers through online marketplace apps “can pose a risk to your safety.”
Some tips recommended by the robbery unit include:
• 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