VIRGINIA BEACH, Va (WVEC) -- A juvenile and another man are accused robbing three people in Virginia Beach using the “LetGo” buy/sell phone application.
A search warrant reveals two of the victims, a man and woman, were held at gunpoint and another man was punched before being robbed. The incidents reportedly happened in late December and January.
The juvenile would contact victims through a fake username, documents said.
Documents also reveal the juvenile and Ryan Charles, 23, would meet potential sellers near an apartment complex at 400 Adkins Arch.
The young suspect would threaten the victims, while Charles would take off with the valuables, according to the search warrant.
Items stolen ranged from an Apple MacBook, valued by a seller at $1600, two iPads and cell phones.
A Virginia Beach detective arrested the juvenile in January after finding evidence through online searches, contacting LetGo, and acquiring an email.
The juvenile was pulled out of school and questioned. Evidence connecting the juvenile to the crimes was later found and he was arrested. The suspect admitted Charles also had involvement and an arrest followed, police confirmed.
Virginia Beach police remind people to take protective steps when making transactions through these applications. One of the safest ways is to make transations at "Safe Zones" like police precincts, police said.
“Always take somebody with you, have someone there to watch your back. Criminals don’t want witnesses,” said MPO Linda Kuehn. “Ask for name number, address. Do online searches. There’s a wealth of information you can find online.”
LetGo released the following statement regarding the robberies:
“Our team has been in contact with the local authorities to assist with their investigation. Letgo's number one priority will always be our users’ security and satisfaction. Issues like this are quite rare. Letgo has been downloaded tens of millions of times with tens of millions of items sold.
Still, we of course urge users to always exercise good judgment and take proper precautions, as they should any time they buy or sell online. We’ve also taken proactive steps to remind users of best practices when buying and selling online.”
(© 2017 WVEC)