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Running shoe thefts spark warning in Manassas

Wednesday - 8/29/2012, 4:57pm  ET

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASHINGTON -- Three separate thefts occurred in Manassas, Va. over the last week in which sellers posted expensive shoes online and were then robbed when they went to make the transaction in person.

Because of the incidents, police are warning people about making private sales.

The stolen shoes were valued between $170 and $400.

In one case, the seller was approached by four people, one of whom asked to try on the shoes before fleeing.

In another case, the seller was punched in the face and the shoes were taken.

In the third case, the thief took the shoes out of the sellers car as soon as he arrived and ran off.

Manassas Police Sgt. Ed Rivera says they have arrested a 16 year old in connection with one of the cases, but it's not clear if the thefts were connected.

"If you're gonna sell anything online, be it a pair of shoes or even a car, do it in public and do it preferably in front of a police station," he says. "Don't do it in a secluded area."

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)