There are a lot of apps that help people buy and sell items like cell phones and electronics. But you should always use caution when meeting a stranger.
One woman fell victim to some dangerous individuals who weren’t looking to just buy a cell phone.
“She was on her way to Saginaw to see her boyfriend and she stopped to sell the phone,” Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said.
An Oakland County woman stopped in Flint to sell a phone to someone she met online. The woman was asked to meet a man at a house on Shamrock Lane. That’s when one of her assailants told her to come inside.
“He lured her into the house under the pretenses that they had to complete the transaction inside of the house,” Leyton said.
Leyton said there were three teenagers inside – Carlos Evans, Dequandre Robinson and Erginal Richard.
Leyton believes all three of the suspects raped the victim, wouldn’t let her leave and stole from her.
“During the sexual assault, they took her car. They took her ATM car. They took money from her account. They threatened her if she went to police,” Leyton said.
Leyton said this should serve as a warning to people to always meet in a public place.
Michigan State Police Sgt. Rick Jones said you can always meet at the State Police lobby to make the exchange.
“So what we recommend, if you are going to meet someone to sell something or buy something that’s not a business that you go to your local police department,” Jones said.
If the person you’re meeting does not agree to meet you in a safe location you should think about canceling the deal, Jones said.
“And if they are leery about meeting you at a police station or somewhere that’s public, then there is something going on,” Jones said.
Leyton said the woman is recovering and is expected to be OK. He wants to remind everyone to think twice about where you are meeting a person you don’t know.
“Otherwise you can get yourself in a situation that can be very traumatic. You could become the victim of a crime,” Leyton said.
All three men have been charged as adults. They face multiple charges such as unlawful imprisonment, robbery and criminal sexual conduct.