After a series of violent robberies in the city, Edmonton police are warning the public to be careful when arranging meet-ups from buy-and-sell websites.
On December 3, police say a man who was selling his car on Letgo gave the potential buyer the keys for a test drive and was dragged about 150 metres as the buyer stole the car.
The man escaped uninjured, but police say this is the ninth reported meet-up that ended in theft or carjacking since October 8. The suspects in all cases appear to be teenagers, they added.
Police say the suspects pose as buyers on sites like Letgo and then threaten sellers with a gun or pepper spray them when they meet in person. The suspects then steal the car or electronics they were supposed to buy.
In a few cases, the suspects have also pretended to sell something and have robbed the buyers who came to meet them, according to police.
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“We want to remind citizens to use caution when meeting up with strangers. Arrange to meet in a safe, visible and public location, not at your home or in your vehicle, and bring another person with you,” Det. Calvin Mah with the Edmonton Police Service said in a news release.
Police say two or more suspects have met victims at buy-and-sell exchanges. The suspects are described as young Black men between 15 and 17 years old.
“Investigators believe the crime series is attributable to a group of youths who are known to police,” the EPS news release continued.
One 17-year-old has been arrested, charged, and released on bail. A second teen has been identified, and charges are pending, police say.