Southern Division police are warning about a trend where people are being robbed after going to view vehicles advertised for sale on social media.
At least two people fell prey to the cunning trap by criminals within the past few days with several more in recent weeks. Snr Supt Zamsheed Mohammed said the trend was worrying and has advised people to use legitimate means of purchasing vehicles. But if they decided to use social media as their marketplace, he urged them to meet with the buyers at any police station.
His warning came on Thursday after the San Fernando Criminal Investigations Department observed the trend in the robberies that occurred in the La Romaine district. The investigators found that potential buyers were led to believe that the sellers were interested in legitimate business transactions, namely, the buying and selling of vehicles through the use of pages on Facebook. The buyers would be invited to view the vehicles and given directions to secluded areas in La Romaine where they are then robbed at gunpoint. Mohammed said these vehicles were being advertised at enticing prices.
The trend isn’t new.
Last October, more than a dozen people were lured into lonely areas and dead-end streets in La Romaine and robbed at gunpoint. Investigators believed it was at the hands of a growing criminal network who used Facebook to advertise. The offers for sale were made through a fake profile with the name Ken Brown. The advertisements were usually featured on a page titled Old Model Trini Cars for Sale and showed a Nissan Sunny B-13 for sale in Rambert Village, La Romaine.
However, police held three men, between the ages of 18 and 19. Although the trend had stopped then, it has returned in recent weeks.
- by Kevon Felmine