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Buyer Beware: Police Seeing More "Customers" Being Set up for Robbery

IMPD says cell phone sales, drug deals used as bait to lure victims

(INDIANAPOLIS) -  Indianapolis robbers are increasing their use of an old scam, using social media to get victims to come to them.

Police Chief Bryan Roach says officers have noticed more cases of robbers advertising something for sale -- usually a cell phone. The victim answers the post, arranges a meeting, and ends up getting robbed or shot.

Roach says would-be buyers should heed the cliche that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And he says you should be suspicious if the seller makes a last-minute change to a less-visible meeting place.

Roach says he doesn't have any hard numbers on how often the scam is being used, but says officers are reporting more of it. He says they're seeing a similar trend with fake drug deals, especially marijuana. He notes marijuana's more plentiful than harder drugs to begin with, and theorizes robbers may also use it as the bait because it's more socially acceptable and more likely to draw victims in.

Roach says detectives suspect there may be more drug-related murders than they can say for sure. He says many killings classified as "motive unknown" show evidence of a drug deal at the scene, but officers won't categorize it that way unless they know for sure.
 

(Photo: m-gucci/Thinkstock)

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