On October 16, 2018 two men aged 17 and 20 went to a pre-arranged location to purchase a cell phone that they had purchased through an online advertisement. As they were conducting the transaction with the seller, several other men showed up armed with machetes and firearms. They were robbed at gunpoint of their car keys and cash from the car. They returned the keys and ordered them, again at gunpoint, to leave.
Buying or selling items through an online classified site can be risky.
We offer the following crime prevention tips:
Ask for a photo of the serial number before meeting and attempt to confirm the item hasn't been reported stolen.
Search the serial number online. serial number search tool
Conduct a reverse search of the posted image of the item for sale.
Don’t provide your personal information to anyone.
Check the buyer/seller's name through an online search engine.
Ask about the history of the item being sold.
Meet during daylight hours, in a public space equipped with cameras.
Do not transfer/provide money to the person before receiving the product.
Do not meet someone alone.
Use generic photos when posting an item for sale.
Follow your gut - if something feels wrong, it probably is.
This investigation is continuing by members of the Major Crimes Unit. Anyone with information that may assist investigators is asked to call 204-986-6219 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).