When a Grafton man set up a deal to set up three pairs of Air Jordans unfortunately for him, he got far more than he bargained for.
According to Akron Polices the 22-year-old victim used OfferUp to set up the meeting with two people to sell the sneakers for $700. At the meeting, which took place outside of a convenience store i investigators said one of the buyers pulled a gun and then both suspects fled with two pairs of sneakers. A 16-year-old suspect has been arrested, but police are still searching for the accomplice.
Akron police Public Information officer Lieutenant Michael Miller, talking to Cleveland’s News 5, implored buyers and sellers to exercise caution when using onl me market places to set up in person deals.
“We’ve had nearly a dozen of these in the last year, year-and-a-half. It places the seller, or the potential buyer at extreme risk.”
“And in this case they were armed, broad daylight, that didn’t deter them. We have set-up a Safe Exchange Zone in the lobby of our headquarters, where people can more safely buy and sell, there’s video surveillance and there’s ample parking. We’ve created alternatives, but I’m not sure why there is a hesitation to utilize that.”
“Too often there is an arranged meeting, and then the would-be buyer or suspect changes the narrative, changes the location, that is a big red flag.”
“If there is something about it that doesn’t sound right, keep that power, keep that control and back out of the exchange,” Miller said.
“Just being in public is not enough, what’s the tone of this conversation, can you verify, is this person reachable by phone even?”
In several of our “Stupid Things People Do For Sneakers “, OfferUp has been the platform of choice for these deals gone awry. After News 5 in Cleveland did a story on this crime, word reached OfferUp, whose corporate headquarters released this statement:
OfferUp takes the trust and safety of our community very seriously. In partnership with law enforcement and our community, we’ve created safety tips and features in our app to help people stay safer when conducting exchanges with people they may not know.
You can find a good list of safety tips that you can use for your article or direct readers to here: https://blog.offerup.com/staying-safe-on-offerup-the-dos-and-donts-of-online-marketplace-transactions [blog.offerup.com]
We’ve partnered with more than 2,000 police departments across America to create Safe Trade Spots [safetradespots.com] that are often in the front lobby or parking lots of departments. These are normally under people or video surveillance 24/7 and have good lighting. I’ve attached several images for reference, but you can go on the website and type in your address and find a safer place to meet when you want to exchange something of value.
For those who of you who will inevitably still engage in these types of transactions, please take proper precautions to ensure your safety.