WASHINGTON —- Two teenagers and a man have been charged with stealing iPhones from Craigslist sellers by answering ads posing as interested buyers, then robbing the sellers at gunpoint when they showed up to complete the deal.
The Prince George’s County police say four victims were robbed, including a robbery involving the app Offer Up, within 6 days.
Police arrested a 15-year-old boy; Alford Wade III, 26, of Bowie, Maryland; and Kemith Calvin, 17, of Mitchellville, Maryland, who is being charged as an adult.
Wade displayed a .38 revolver. Calvin displayed an .357 magnum Airsoft replica gun.
The 15-year-old suspect was arrested two years ago and was also accused of stealing an iPhone.
A fourth victim was robbed through an ad on the app Offer Up. The suspect posed his own ad and robbed the potential buyer. No arrests have been made, but three or four suspects are being sought in that case.
All the robberies happened in daylight within six days, police Lt. Sunny Mrotek says, and all the victims showed up for the deal by themselves. The suspects lured the victims to a secluded place, then robbed them.
“The suspects in each of these cases went to great lengths, used certain resources, certain tricks to thwart the investigations, to conceal their identities,” Mrotek says.
Some of the iPhones have been recovered. None of the adult male victims were hurt during the robberies.
Police are reiterating Craiglist safety tips:
- Never go to a Craigslist deal alone;
- Talk to the potential buyer or seller on the phone before meeting
- Only meet up with buyers or sellers in public places where there are witnesses or surveillance video if a deal goes south;
- If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is;
- Unless the item in question is too big to bring out of your house, never invite a buyer to your home.