The “Offer Up” app claimed another victim – this time in Garfield, where police said two robbers collected several hundred dollars from an iPhone buyer, the left him holding an empty box.
City police caught both of them, Police Chief Raymond Kovach said Friday.
The victim said he met the pair around 9 p.m. Sunday on Westminster Place, Kovach said.
A man he described as about 18, with a ponytail and wearing a white hoodie, handed him the iPhone box in exchange for the cash as part of the deal, Kovach said.
That man ran down Westminster Place, leaving behind the second “seller” – also about 18 and wearing a black hoodie, the victim told police.
The victim said he kept his hand in his pocket, motioning as though he had a gun, and said, “Don’t try anything stupid.”
The purported gunman then ran down Westminster Place in the same direction as his accomplice, Kovach said.
Detectives Joseph Delaney and Mario Pozo quickly identified the pair and arrested both on Thursday, the chief said.
Christian Chamorro, 18, and Chase McKie, 20, both of Garfield, were charged in connection with the theft.
Kovach reminded citizens to use caution when doing face-to-face business with someone they don’t know.
He urged them to review buyer or seller profiles in advance and “protect yourself from becoming the victim of a crime by taking some precautions.”
Most importantly, he said, use a public facility -- such as a police station parking lot -- as a meet-up location.
“If you choose to meet somewhere other than a police parking lot, only use a public place that has a well-lighted area and security cameras,” the chief said. “Meet at a time when there are a lot of people around, and always bring someone with you.”
Garfield police are working to establish a 24-hour meetup spot outside police headquarters that would be equipped with surveillance cameras, Kovach said.
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