MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Memphis Police are warning people about the potential dangers of transactional meetups arranged on Internet platforms including Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist.
In Whitehaven, a woman said her 17-year-old daughter was threatened with a gun over a $250 iPhone sale.
“I’m praying that everything work out,” she said.
She said her daughter needed a new iPhone so she found one for sale on Facebook Marketplace for $250. She told the seller to come to her home and she asked her brother to look out.
“She just told me to go out there and keep watch over her in case something happened," her older brother said.
But that didn’t stop the supposed sellers from doing harm.
"She asked him to unlock the phone. When she gave him back the phone, he already had her money. When he had the phone he took off with her money with her dragging behind the car,” said the boyfriend of the victim's mother who saw some of the incident happen.
“I asked her what happened. She said the dude had a gun in the backseat," the victim's brother said.
Police said they were also investigating a similar robbery on Sinclair Street in Frayser.
Police said a man was meeting up with someone to buy something off the app Let Go.
The would-be seller pulled out a gun and demanded the buyer hand over his Gucci slippers, police said.
After an additional incident last week involving stolen sneakers, police put out a notice Monday.
They warned people not to meet at homes. Instead to go very public places. They also discouraged people from carrying a lot of cash and recommended they use PayPal or a check instead. And they recommended having a friend or family member watching out.
But the family members who spoke with WREG in Whitehaven have learned a lesson.
“Like the police officer told her last night, next time you buy something offline, meet at the precinct," they said.
They said the teenaged victim wasn't physically hurt but did suffer trauma, which could last a long time.
"She terrified. She at school and she scared to come home," they said.