Suspected serial armed robber accused of using buying-and-selling apps to lure victims

A suspected serial armed robber is behind bars in DC, accused of using buying-and-selling apps to lure his victims.

The 17-year-old juvenile is responsible for at least seven different thefts, police said.

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He’s suspected of meeting most of his victims online using apps like OfferUp, 5miles, and letgo. He’d agree to a transaction, police said, before he — along with one or two additional suspects — would rob the victims when they arrived to make the exchange. Five of the crimes are alleged to have happened at the 100 block of Irvington Street SW, which is a largely residential area.

So what can you do to stay safe when making a similar transaction? Security expert Derrick Parks, the president and CEO of Metropolitan Protective Services, said the most important thing is to pick a safe spot to meet.

“You want to be in an area that you know and you feel comfortable with and that you know there’s a lot of ambient protection around. So police stations, fire stations, areas like that I think go a long way,” Parks explained.

Police said they’re still searching for the other suspects.