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Online Exchange Sale Turns To Robbery At Knife Point: Cops

MISSION VIEJO, CA -An online exchange of a $600 sweater went drastically awry overnight when a Mission Viejo resident was robbed while attempting the sale, Orange County Sheriff’s Department said.

"The victim advertised the item online and met the buyer/suspect in the parking lot of Chase Bank," in the area of La Paz and Marguerite. Mission Viejo Police Services Lt. Quyen Vuong said.

The suspect ran off with the sweater, and the victim ran after him until the suspect brandished a small knife to scare him from continuing the pursuit, Vuong said.

Police were unable to locate the suspect, however safety tips for meeting internet strangers when buying/selling items:

Check the seller’s online activity before deciding to purchase. Look at their history and rating. When arranging to meet, don’t be intimidated; never agree to meet at a location you’re not comfortable with such as a secluded area. Meet at a busy public location, preferably during daylight hours. Consider meeting at your local city hall or sheriff/police station. Never go alone, always take a friend.Alert family or friends of your plans and consider sharing your location with them via your smartphone. Screenshot the advertisement and send it to your friends. Always have your phone on you and dial 911 in case of an emergency. Enable GPS location tracking on your phone. Never get into someone’s car or go into someone’s home. Bring only the agreed-upon cash. Listen to your instincts!

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Last night at approximately 10 p.m., deputies and our helicopter were searching for a man who stole $600 sweater in the area of La Paz and Marguerite. The victim advertised the item online and met the buyer/suspect in the parking lot of Chase Bank. The suspect ran off with the sweater and the victim chased after him. During the chase, the victim believed the suspect brandished a small knife to scare him from pursuing. We were unable to locate the suspect. Below are some safety tips for meeting internet strangers when buying/selling items: – Check the seller’s online activity before deciding to purchase. Look at their history and rating. – When arranging to meet, don’t be intimidated; never agree to meet at a location you’re not comfortable with such as a secluded area. – Meet at a busy public location, preferably during daylight hours. Consider meeting at your local city hall or sheriff/police station. – Never go alone, always take a friend. – Alert family or friends of your plans and consider sharing your location with them via your smartphone. Screen shot the advertisement and send it to your friends. – Always have your phone on you and dial 911 in case of an emergency. Enable GPS location tracking on your phone. – Never get into someone’s car or go into someone’s home. – Bring only the agreed upon cash. – Listen to your instincts! If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A post shared by Mission Viejo Police Services (@ocsdmissionviejo) on Feb 7, 2019 at 8:05pm PST

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