Police warn against buying cheap cellphones online

Edmonton police are warning people looking for cheap cellphones through classified ads online to be careful as some of those phones may be stolen.

Three suspects arrested after $15,000 worth of cellphones and accessories stolen in Edmonton.

EPS says stolen cellphones are becoming a serious problem in Edmonton, and are warning people to be careful buying cheap phones online. 1:52

Edmonton police are warning people looking for cheap cellphones through online classified ads to be careful, as some of those phones may be stolen.

This week, investigators arrested three people suspected of stealing over $15,000 worth of cell phones and accessories from mall kiosks across the city.

Trinity Hopf works at a Rogers store on Stony Plain Road. She says her store has been broken into twice in the past two weeks – both times in broad daylight.

"The guy actually came and actually ripped the phones out of our displays," she said. "We're assuming he's just goint to try to sell them for all their parts because they do have demo programs installed."

"To sell them outright, someone can make a lot of money doing that but it's not really a good decision for somebody to do because they're locked to our network," she added.

And police say there is another risk to purchasing a stolen phone: it can be seized from you.

'If you are in possession of stolen property, the cell phone can be seized from you – and if you knowingly know that they are stolen property you can be charged," said Const. Roxanne Heppner with EPS.