Hartford police are searching for a suspect in another OfferUp app transaction gone bad.
Hartford police said over the last few months the Hartford Police Major Crimes Division has investigated multiple incidents of social-media related robberies and carjackings. Victims in these cases were lured to the location through the app OfferUp, which is an online auction site visitors can use to buy and sell items.
According to police on Saturday around 9:20 p.m., a mother and daughter from Meriden came to the area of 466 Edgewood St. in Hartford to buy an iPhone 7 they saw advertised on OfferUp. When the victims arrived, a suspect approached them and pulled a gun out, demanding money.
The victim reported she was robbed of $400 and she drove off, dragging the suspect with the car until he fell off on Enfield Street. The victim and her daughter were not hurt.
The suspect in this crime is described as a male around 19 years old with a medium build. He was wearing a compression shirt with a hood at the time of the crime.
The Major Crimes Division has investigated eight other cases of this nature and have identified and arrested suspects in four of them.
Police encourage buyers and sellers to use the Hartford Police Department parking lot for online transactions. The area is a designated “safe lot” that is under constant surveillance.
Authorities offered the following tips to stay safe when conducting business online:
- Insist to meet at a very public place such as the Hartford Police Department.
- Don't go alone.
- Trust your instincts.
- Do not meet in a secluded area.
- Do not invite strangers into your home, and do not go to theirs.
- Be cautious when buying/selling high value items.
- Perform the transaction during daylight hours.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it normally is.
- Tell a friend or family member about your intentions.
- Meet in location where video surveillance is likely (or bring your own)