PEI

Charlottetown man assaulted, robbed over cellphone

A Charlottetown man was robbed and assaulted while trying to sell a cellphone he'd posted for sale online. Charlottetown police recommend buyers and sellers use well-lit public areas for these transactions.

Police recommend using well-lit public places for transactions

Charlottetown police recommend people use well-lit public areas, such as the safe exchange area in their parking lot, for transactions with people they don't know. (Brittany Spencer/CBC)

Charlottetown police are reminding people to be careful and cautious when meeting up with people to buy or sell things posted online.

This comes after a Charlottetown man was robbed and assaulted while selling a cellphone.

Police say the victim had posted the phone for sale on social media and met with two men in the parking lot of a business on University Avenue last Friday afternoon for the transaction.

When he handed over the phone, he got an envelope in exchange.

"He opened up the envelope and there wasn't money in it — it was just paper," said Deputy Chief Sean Coombs.

This robbery serves as a reminder for people to 'be very vigilant, be very careful' when meeting up for transactions arranged online. (Kirk Pennell/CBC)

When the victim tried to get his phone back, one of the men assaulted him, causing minor injuries to his face, then both accused ran off.

Coombs said police used video surveillance to identify the two suspects. They were both located in Charlottetown a couple of hours later and arrested.

One man, 24, was charged with robbery and breach of probation. The second man, 30, was also charged with robbery. When searching him, police found evidence linked to a break and enter in the city, June 30, so he's also been charged with that offence.

Police said both accused are known to them. Both men will remain in custody until their next court appearance on Wednesday.

Coombs said anyone meeting up with someone they don't know for a sale should bring someone with them, and they should meet in a well-lit, public place.

'Be very vigilant'

He said this incident serves as a reminder "to be very vigilant, be very careful when on social media, and meeting up with people they don't know, and to always be thinking of their own safety."

"Usually places where you have an idea that there could be some video surveillance," said Coombs.

The Charlottetown police station on Kirkwood Drive for example, has a safe exchange zone in its parking lot, which is lit and under 24-hour surveillance.

"Not everything on social media is what it's billed to be. There are people who are willing to take advantage of other people and use their good nature to set up a circumstance, which could lead to be unsafe," said Coombs.

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With files from Brittany Spencer

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