By Joe Johnson
Athens-Clarke County police are warning residents to use caution when arranging to make transactions initiated over social media.
The warning comes in the wake of two armed robberies that occurred on Wednesday after victims tried to purchase cellphones that they learned supposedly were for sale from posts they saw on Facebook.
In the first incident, a victim at about noon saw a Facebook posting about a cellphone that was for sale, police said.
Upon arrival at the supposed transaction location in the 100 block of Pepperidge Lane, the victim was approached by a black male who pulled a gun and took the victim’s wallet, according to police. The victim, who was not injured described the suspect as being very tall and with tattoos on both hands, police said.
The second incident Wednesday occurred at about 2:10 p.m. at Kathwood Townhomes off Kathwood Drive. The victim, who showed up with plans to buy a cellphone he saw advertised on Facebook was approached by multiple people, one of whom had a gun, police said.
The suspects stole multipole, unspecified, items from the victim, police said.to take the following precautions when arranging to make purchases online:
· Transactions should be scheduled for daytime hours
· Well-lit and frequented areas are the best locations for transactions
· Consider using the parking lot of a law enforcement agency
· Do not meet at a private residence
· Be wary if the buyer or seller agrees to a meeting location, then changes it
· Consider alternate forms of payment other than cash
This week’s armed robberies are being actively investigated.
Police asked that anyone with information about the crimes to contact Detective Michael Carroll at (762) 400-7089 or firstname.lastname@example.org.