Four face charges in robberies from online buy-and-sell meetings

London police are warning people about the dangers of online buy-and-sell ads as four people have been charged in a number of robberies.

Police say the meetings involved online ads offering new cell phones for sale

London police are warning the public about the dangers of buy-and-sell meetings after four men were charged in a string of recent robberies. (Liny Lamberink/CBC London)

London police have charged four people following a series of thefts and robberies involving online buy-and-sell meetings.

The meetings involved advertisements offering new cell phones for sale that were placed on buy-and-sell websites between Feb. 17 and March 11.

When buyers met the supposed sellers in person, they had their money stolen from them.

In one case, a victim was threatened with a firearm, and another case saw a residence being broken into, and two vehicles stolen.

So far, the charges laid are in connection with seven separate incidents, with a total of 10 victims.

Police believe there may be more victims, and are urging with anyone who had a similar experience to contact police. 

"Do not carry large sums of cash and instead, consider an e-transfer once you are satisfied with the condition of the presented item for sale," Det. Sgt. Ryan Scrivens, head of the London Police Service's General Investigation Section, said in a police statement.

"When possible, be accompanied by a friend or family member and if the deal is simply too good to be true, recognize that it may be a lure used by a would-be thief."

Three of the accused are from London, and two of them are 15 years old.

The four males face a number of armed robbery, assault and theft charges.