A 19-year-old Hamilton man is facing several charges, including robbery, after an attempted cellphone sale through Kijiji.
Police say two men met in the area of Bay and Cannon Street on Saturday, just before 7 p.m.
According to the report, the men were reportedly sitting in the seller’s car when the buyer asked to see the phone. The seller told police he had a bad feeling about the impending deal, but handed the phone over to the buyer, anyway. That’s when the buyer reportedly attempted to flee the vehicle without paying for the phone.
Hamilton police say the seller was able to grab the buyer, Abdikadir Abdi, before the seller was sprayed by an “aerosol irritant believed to be related to pepper spray.”
Abdi allegedly escaped the car but left his wallet behind.
Police say it was Abdi who called police, claiming to be a victim of a robbery and that he was sprayed by an irritant and lost his wallet while fleeing.
“Through investigation, police were able to determine the true events,” according to a media release from Hamilton Police Service. “The buyer was located and arrested. He was bound by court orders and his involvement in this incident led to additional charges being laid.”
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Abdikadir Abdi, 19, of Hamilton is facing charges of robbery, administering a noxious chemical with intent to endanger life or cause bodily harm, possession under $5,000, failure to comply recognizance, failure to comply probation, and two counts of failure to comply youth sentence.
Hamilton police issued the following recommended precautions to protect from crimes of opportunity related to sales transactions with unknown people.
- Meet in a public area, preferably during the daytime and where security surveillance exists
- Bring a friend or family member
- Be suspicious of last-minute changes in the plan
- Don’t give out personal banking information on the internet
- If you chose to conduct a cash transaction, do not hand over the money or the product first
- Use common sense, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is