Thursday, July 13, 2017

Wheaton online sale meetups end in robberies

Montgomery County police are reminding residents that they offer "Safe Exchange Zones" for sales of merchandise arranged online, after two sellers were robbed in Wheaton last week. These zones are located in each of the six district police stations around the county.

Detectives report that last Thursday, July 6, around 11:18 PM, an adult male selling tennis shoes through Facebook met his supposed buyer at the intersection of Randolph Road and Dalewood Drive in Wheaton. Instead of handing over the money, the "buyer" pulled out a handgun and robbed the victim of his shoes. The suspect is described as an African-American male, 5’8” and wearing a black t-shirt and gray sweatpants. He fled from the scene in a blue Honda Accord.

On Saturday, July 8, around 12:13 AM, an adult female selling her digital camera via the app, "OfferUp," met her supposed buyer in the 12000 block of English Orchard Court in Wheaton. Once again, the so-called "buyer" wasn't a paying customer. The 18-20-year-old, 5'8" Latino male with a slim build physically-assaulted the woman, grabbed her camera, and ran toward Randolph Road. He was wearing a "multi-colored hoodie" and khaki pants.

In addition to using the safe zones, one might also consider it is probably a bad idea to meet a strange man near Randolph Road in the middle of the night to exchange valuables for cash. Who knew?

Anyone with information regarding these two robberies or the suspects is asked to call the 4th District Investigative Section at 240-773-5530.  Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).  Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information provided to them that leads to an arrest in this case.

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