Man robbed in Norfolk after listing phone on “OfferUp” app; Two suspects at large

Posted at 10:13 AM, Jan 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-11 17:43:58-05

NORFOLK, Va. - Police need your help finding two men who they say robbed a man after agreeing to buy a cell phone on the OfferUp app.

It happened Wednesday night in the 400 block of Monticello Avenue, near MacArthur Center mall.

Police say the victim agreed to meet the two men hoping to sell his cell phone.

When he handed them the phone to inspect it-they took off running.

“So, he ran after them thinking hey I am going to get my phone and unfortunately one of the suspects turned around with a handgun and he knew right then he shouldn’t be chasing them,” Hudson said.

This is not the first robbery call police have had over the Offerup app, in fact we have seen similar incidents all over Hampton Roads.

To protect people, last spring Norfolk police created designated e-commerce exchange zones at all 3 patrol divisions.

Daniel Hudson with Norfolk police worries most people just don’t know about the exchange zones.

“The first patrol is actually 24-hour access. Anybody trying to sell items online it’s a safe place for them. They can go inside the lobby 24-hours a day and do their exchanging in there,” Hudson said.

The second and third patrol offer limited lobby hours, but both have parking spaces designated for exchanges that are under surveillance 24-hours a day.

David Tyson lives downtown Norfolk he says he has used Offerup to buy merchandise in the area before.

“I went to their house or met mutually and that is something to be cautious about because you never know what you’re stepping into,” Tyson said.

Tyson says he never knew there were designated safe places to buy or sell merchandise in Norfolk, but plans on meeting there in the future.

“I have never heard of anything like that so I doubt most people have heard of that,” Tyson said.

If you know anything about this incident, contact the Norfolk Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.