Surrey Mounties say a 20-year-old man is facing robbery charges related to on-line sales. Joseph Peake, of no fixed address, is charged with two counts of robbery and three counts of breaching court orders.
Corporal Elenore Sturko said this is related to two incidents, one day apart.
On Jan. 18, just after 5 p.m. near the Surrey Public Library, she said, the alleged victim arranged to meet with a potential buyer for a cell phone advertised for sale on social media.
“While the meeting took place the victim was allegedly assaulted, and their phone was stolen.” Sturko said the following day, just before noon, “a similar incident took place outside a Surrey shopping centre, but the victim was able to run away and their phone was not stolen.”
Peake was arrested that same day.
Sturko noted people face a “heightened risk” to their personal safety when meeting strangers, “even in a public place.
“We have seen a number of similar robberies over the past few months and want the public to be aware that there are risks involved in these buy and sell transactions.”
She advises buyers and sellers to meet in “heavily populated” public places that are well lit, do not arrange to meet at your home, and to take a friend with you.
“If your are verbally threatened or physically assaulted, avoid confrontation by giving the perpetrator the property,” she said. “Call police as soon as possible.”