April 24, 2019 7:33 am
Updated: April 24, 2019 1:27 pm

Two teens arrested after string of robberies from online sales, say Winnipeg police

Police made four arrests Tuesday night after a number of robberies during face-to-face meetings from online sales.

Joe Scarpelli / Global News

Two people have been arrested after a number of people were injured in robberies during face-to-face meetings from online sales.

Police tweeted Tuesday night, warning people to avoid face-to-face sales until further notice.

READ MORE: Police investigate online ad robberies

Just under an hour later, police tweeted they had made arrests and the threat was likely over.

Police said the whole thing started in the evening at about 5:30 p.m.

The first robbery happened when an 18-year-old man met with two males to sell clothing. The two males took out an apparent firearm and robbed the young man.

Twenty minutes later, the pair headed to St. Vital Mall to meet with another 18-year-old man who was selling shoes online. The pair assaulted the man and robbed him, said police.
At about 6:30, the suspects then went to the Exchange District to meet a 25-year-old man selling a watch online.

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“One suspect produced what was described as a firearm, put the gun to the 25-year-old’s head and fired several shots,” said police in a news release.

The 25 year-old-man was also physically assaulted, but managed to get away and was later taken to hospital, said police.

READ MORE: Portage Place meet-up ends in teen assault, armed robbery

Finally, 45 minutes later, the pair of male suspects headed to an apartment block in the Valhalla area and met up with a 27-year-old man trading shoes online. One suspect took out his firearm and hit the victim in the head several times. The victim was then robbed.

Just before 8 p.m., police caught up with the pair in a vehicle on Lagimodiere Boulevard and Grassie Boulevard. Four people inside were taken into custody, and police said they found a .177 calibre BB air pistol in the car.

Two 17-year-old boys face charges of armed robbery, robbery, pointing a firearm, possession of a weapon, and carrying a concealed prohibited weapon. One of the teens also faces aggravated assault and discharging a firearm with intent charges.

The two other people in the car were released without charges.

Police reminded Winnipeggers to follow the following steps when making online sales:
  • Never meet someone alone.
  • Meet in a public place with many people around. Avoid meeting in areas that you are unfamiliar with.
  • If possible, meet during daylight hours.
  • Survey the area. If things don’t look or feel right, make alternative arrangements.
  • Keep a mobile phone nearby.
  • Exchange phone numbers beforehand, but do not provide your personal information beyond your name.
  • Use common sense. If something sounds too good to be true, it likely is.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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