Bellevue, WA: Bellevue police detectives arrested a 17-year-old armed robbery suspect in connection with two robberies set up on an internet market app this weekend.
Saturday morning, the suspect posted an advertisement on the OfferUp app selling a laptop. When the victim arrived at the agreed-upon location, the suspect pulled a handgun out of his bag, demanding cash.
Early Sunday morning, the exact same situation unfolded in the same place with a different victim. This time, the suspect offered to sell AirPods as well as a laptop.
Bellevue patrol officers gathered critical evidence and witness statements, and detectives immediately began tracking down the suspect. With the cooperation of OfferUp, investigators were able to identify and locate the suspect within less than 36 hours after the first aggravated robbery.
The Bellevue SWAT team and detectives served a search warrant at the suspect’s residence on Sunday evening. He was taken into custody without incident and booked into the King County Youth Detention Center on charges of First Degree Robbery.
These incidents should serve as a warning to anyone buying or selling items on an internet market site such as OfferUp or Craigslist. Please remember to arrange a meeting in a very public, brightly lit location, preferably with lots of cameras, and do not go at night. Also, take someone with you and trust your gut, if it doesn’t feel right, cancel it. While the vast majority of these sales go off without a hitch, a few safety precautions will go a long way to preventing yourself from becoming a victim.