Dover police report three robberies taking place because of the "Let Go" sales app
Dover police are looking for suspects in three recent robberies that took place when area residents used the “Let Go” second-hand sales app to lure victims to unsafe areas.
Each took place after dark in local parking lots, department spokesman Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman said.
The most recent occurred at 7:16 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20 in the parking lot of the Hamlet Shopping Center. Two people agreed to meet a prospective cell phone buyer after meeting on the Let Go app. The suspect got out of his vehicle and into their car, then pulled a handgun and demanded their property. The man took two cell phones, ran into the Dollar General store and fled shortly afterward.
The suspect is a black man in his mid-20s, tall with a slim build; he was in a blue or purple Honda CR-V, Hoffman said.
Another robbery took place at 8:32 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 in the parking lot of the Country Village Apartments. In this case, a 50-year-old man was waiting to sell a cell phone, an arrangement also made via the Let Go app. A black man came up to him and snatched away the phone before driving off in a gray Pontiac G6 sedan.
The victim suffered scratches and cuts to his arm when he fell to the ground during the robbery, Hoffman said.
The first incident took place around 5:46 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, also at the Country Village apartments in the 400 block of Country Drive.
The 18-year-old victim was waiting to meet someone he’d contacted on the LetGo app in order to buy a cell phone. Instead, he was approached by four black men, two of who were armed with knives.
The men demanded the victim’s wallet and one hit the man in the face, causing a minor injury to his mouth. They took his wallet and two of the men fled in a dark-colored vehicle.
The victim could not tell police how the other two men escaped, Hoffman said.
Police are continuing their investigation; anyone with information on this crime is asked to call Dover police at 736-7130. Tips may be left anonymously.
Tips may also be submitted to law enforcement through Delaware Crime Stoppers at 800-TIP-3333 or online at tipsubmit.com.
Hoffman cautioned buyers trying to make sales meetings without using proper precautions.
“The Dover Police Department would like to remind the community that the department allows the use of the parking lot, front entrance, and surrounding areas of the police department for online sales meets,” he said.
“Buyers and sellers may also utilize the porch area of the front entrance to the police department under the overhang, but must not hinder the anyone's ability to enter or exit the department.”
Hoffman added that neither the department nor any of its employees will act as a witness to a sale or be involved in any agreements or civil matters involving sales once completed.
“The Dover Police Department is simply allowing a safe haven for sales to take place without interrupting police operations or access to police services,” he said.
The Dover Police Department also is sharing the following tips for those who choose not to use the designated department locations:Insist on a public meeting place like a cafe, shopping center parking lot, etc. Do not meet in a secluded place, or invite strangers into your home. Only meet during daylight hours or in well-lit and heavily populated areas. Be especially careful buying/selling high-value items. Tell a friend or family member where you're going or when you're having a buyer/seller in your home. Take your cell phone along if you have one. Consider having a friend accompany you. Trust your instincts.