Man allegedly stole phone and assaulted seller outside Surrey Public Library: RCMP
A file photo of a cell phone. Surrey RCMP are warning the public after a man allegedly assaulted a cell phone seller and stole the phone.
VANCOUVER -- Surrey RCMP are cautioning people to be careful when meeting with potential buyers of items they are trying to sell online.
The warning comes after a man allegedly assaulted a cell phone seller and stole the phone near the Surrey Public Library on Jan. 18. In another similar incident on Jan. 19, a man allegedly tried to steal another phone outside a Surrey shopping mall, but the seller was able to run away.
Surrey RCMP arrested 20-year-old Joseph Peake on Jan. 19. He has been charged with two counts of robbery and one count of breaching court conditions.
Police say they have seen a number of similar robberies in the past few months involving "buy and sell transactions."
If you're using a web site like Craigslist or Kijiji to sell or to buy an item, police are recommending you take the following steps to stay safe:
• Insist on a heavily populated, public meeting place that is well-lit;
• do not meet in a secluded place or arrange to meet at your home;
• be especially careful when buying or selling high value items;
• tell a friend or family member where you’re going and when you’re meeting the buyer or seller;
• take your cell phone and a friend along to accompany you; and
• if you are verbally threatened or physically assaulted, avoid confrontation by giving the perpetrator the property. Call police as soon as possible.