RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Police are encouraging the use of Safe Exchange Zones after a buy-and-sell transaction went wrong Monday night.
The plea comes one night after officers responded to First Avenue for an armed robbery. Police say a man met someone he didn’t know to buy an iPhone. The suspect flashed a gun, took $200, and ran away towards Brookland Park Blvd.
According to the police, the robber was wearing a skull cap, a black hoodie, and jeans.
Speaking to 8News, Lt. David Naoroz told 8News robbers looking to scam people “eventually it’s going to catch up to you.”
“We have had a few similar style robberies in the past.”
Joshua Grey, a 23-year-old who was shot and killed while trying to sell an iPhone on Mechanicsville Turnpike in 2018, is another reason why police want locals to use Safe Exchange Zones. Police add another option is to meet buyers in public areas that are well-lit and feature surveillance cameras.
“We want to reduce and mitigate the opportunity for the individuals trying to take advantage of folks as much as possible,” Lt. Naoroz said.
Police say they are also warning signs to look out for. When in doubt listen to your gut, police said. If the online seller’s profile has limited information with little to no pictures, that’s could possibly be a red flag.
“If somebody says I can only meet you in the 100 block of Patterson Avenue and you’re not familiar with that location or something like that then suggest another area,” Lt. Naoroz said. “Suggest ‘hey, I see on a map that 3rd police precinct is close by can we meet there?’ and see what they say and go from there.”