A recent surge in personal robberies linked to the popular buy/sell app Letgo has Surrey RCMP issuing a reminder to the public about safety concerns posed by meeting unknown persons, even in public spaces.
The Surrey RCMP Robbery Unit has noted an increase in the number of personal robberies perpetrated during meet-ups related to buying or selling high valued items advertised on the LetGo app. With the two most recent incidents having taken place over this past weekend, March 14, and 15, 2020. In all of the recent occurrences people were robbed of their cash or high valued items, and assaulted or threatened during the incidents.
“Surrey RCMP would like all residents to be aware of the risk associated to using online marketplace apps, which facilitate the necessity to meet unknown people to complete transactions,” says Constable Richard Wright. “There is a risk to meeting up with people you do not know, particularly when arranging the exchange of high valued items or cash.”
Surrey RCMP is providing some personal safety tips that may be helpful when arranging meetings with unknown online parties to buy or sell items:
· Insist on a commercial public meeting place, such as local businesses with regular foot traffic
· Confirm cell phone numbers before meeting – don’t only communicate through the app
· Do not meet in a secluded place or invite strangers into your home
· Only meet during daylight hours or in a well-lit and heavily populated area
· Be especially careful when buying or selling high value items
· Tell a friend or family member where you’re going and when you’re meeting the buyer/seller
· Take your cell phone and a friend along to accompany you
· Always trust your instincts while arranging a meeting
Anyone with more information about any of the recent ‘LetGo robberies’ is asked to contact Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502, or Crime Stoppers if you wish to remain anonymous at 1-800-222-TIPS or www.solvecrime.ca.
On September 30, 2019, Surrey RCMP first warned the public about four separate robberies that had been linked to offenders using the LetGo app to take money or high-value property from legitimate buyers and sellers (see previous release: September 30, 2020).
On February 4, 2020, Surrey RCMP informed the public of an arrest in relation to a series of robberies that had been linked to one offender that was using the LetGo app to target legitimate buyers and sellers (see previous release: February 4, 2020).
On February 17, 2020, Surrey RCMP arrested several individuals and recovered a large cache of stolen property, some of which was identified as ‘for sale’ on the LetGo app (see previous release: February 17, 2020).