3 Londoners facing charges after alleged theft, robbery involving online buy-and-sell sites

London police have charged three people with a string of reported thefts and robberies. Matthew Trevithick / Global News

A London man and two youths are among the four people facing charges related to multiple reported incidents of theft and robbery involving online buy-and-sell meetings.

London police say that between Feb. 17 and March 11, online advertisements were placed on buy-and-sell sites advertising cellphones for sale.

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Several victims reportedly arranged to meet the seller or sellers to purchase a phone but instead had money stolen from them, according to police.

On one occasion, police say the victim was threatened with a firearm, and in another reported incident, a residence was allegedly broken into and two vehicles stolen while the occupants slept.

“Meet the prospective buyer/seller in a public place, one that is both well illuminated and familiar to you,” Det. Sgt. Ryan Scrivens of the general investigations section said.

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Scrivens recommends that people who meet with prospective buyers and sellers do not carry large sums of cash and instead consider an e-transfer once you are satisfied with the condition of the item for sale.

He also says that, when possible, people should get a friend or family member to come with them.

“If the deal is simply too good to be true, recognize that it may be a lure used by a would-be thief,” Scrivens said.

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Police are reporting a total of 10 victims related to seven separate alleged incidents, however investigators say there may be additional victims and are urging anyone with information to contact police.

An 18-year-old London man has been charged with robbery with violence or threats, two counts of possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000, three counts of theft under $5,000, assault and uttering threats of death or bodily harm.

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Two 15-year-old London youths are also jointly charged with armed robbery, use of a firearm during the commission of an indictable offence, possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000, possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000, uttering threats of death or bodily harm, assault and two counts of theft under $5,000.

A 24-year-old Etobicoke man is also facing similar charges, including two counts of break-and-enter and fraudulent use of credit card.

Anyone with information in relation to these reported incidents is asked to call the London Police Service at 519-661-5670 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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