Winnipeg – Police Advise Caution with Online Classified Ad Sales and Purchases

Winnipeg Police release crime statistics
Winnipeg Police
Winnipeg Police release crime statistics
Winnipeg Police

WINNIPEG – Police in Winnipeg are advising people to take care when making online purchases or selling things online with classified ads. An incident in Winnipeg on October 16, 2018, could have gone far worse than it did.

Police report that at approximately 10:45 pm, Winnipeg Police received a report of a robbery involving firearms in the 200 block of Young Street.

Tactical Support Team members and East District general patrol officers searched the area but were unable to locate the suspects.

Officers met with two males, aged 17 and 20, who, after responding to an online advertisement, attended to a pre-arranged location to purchase a cell phone.

The victims told police that during the transaction with the would-be seller, an adult male, that several other males showed up armed with firearms and machetes.

The suspects pointed the guns at the victims, demanding their car keys, which they were provided.

The suspects stole money from the vehicle, returned the car keys to the victims and ordered them to leave while they continued to point guns at the victims.

The victims were not physically injured.

Buying or selling items through an online classified site can be risky.

Winnipeg Police offer the following crime prevention tips:

  • Ask for a photo of the serial number before meeting and attempt to confirm the item hasn’t been reported stolen.
  • Search the serial number online.  serial number search tool
  • Conduct a reverse search of the posted image of the item for sale.
  • Don’t provide your personal information to anyone.
  • Check the buyer/seller’s name through an online search engine.
  • Ask about the history of the item being sold.
  • Meet during daylight hours, in a public space equipped with cameras.
  • Do not transfer/provide money to the person before receiving the product.
  • Do not meet someone alone.
  • Use generic photos when posting an item for sale.
  • Follow your gut – if something feels wrong, it probably is.    

This investigation is continuing by members of the Major Crimes Unit. Anyone with information that may assist investigators is asked to call 204-986-6219 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).

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