Tri-City News

Police issue warning after two smart phone scams

Coquitlam RCMP are warning the public about buying phones online. - FILE GRAPHIC
Coquitlam RCMP are warning the public about buying phones online.
— image credit: FILE GRAPHIC

Coquitlam RCMP are warning the public after a couple who hoped to get a great deal on smart phones were robbed at gunpoint.

The couple spotted an online ad for iPhones and Samsung Galaxy IIIs and decided to buy several. Armed with a large sum of cash, they followed the seller's instruction and went to a secluded street corner late at night for the transaction.

Shortly after they arrived, however, police say two thugs robbed them of their cash at gunpoint and fled the scene.

Both men are described as south Asian or black, about 180 to 220 lb. and 6' tall.

In another incident, a man who hoped to buy an iPhone for $500 that he found in an online ad was also directed to a quiet side street late at night. When the gun-toting robber demanded the money, the victim created a distraction and was able to get away.

The suspect in that incident was described as a south Asian man in his early to mid 20s, 6'2" tall with a beard and dark hair in a brush cut; he was wearing a matching lavender and green track suit.

"If the deal is too good to be true, it is too good to be true," said Cpl. Jamie Chung in a release. "Walking down a quiet dark street at night with a large amount of cash is not a good idea. Luckily, our buyers didn't get hurt."

Police suggested smart phone owners record their phone's IMEI and serial number so that, if it is stolen, police can identify it if it's recovered. Users can also talk to their service providers about ways to remotely disable or track their phone if it's stolen.

Other crime news:



Three people were taken into custody and later released after Coquitlam RCMP and the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team executed a high-risk search warrant at Port Coquitlam house.

The search for weapons at the home on Larkin Avenue resulted in the three people being taken into custody; one woman was found to have multiple outstanding arrest warrants.

Nobody was injured in the search and the file remains under investigation.



One of Coquitlam RCMP's most wanted is back in custody after a failed escape bid on two wheels.

An officer patrolling north of Lougheed Highway Monday afternoon spotted a woman riding a bicycle and recognized her as a suspect with several outstanding warrants.

The officer used his emergency lights, sirens and air horn to get the suspect to stop but she only pedalled faster, according to police. She turned off on a narrow pathway but the officer jumped out of his vehicle and chased her on foot.

Inexplicably, the suspect got off her bike and tried to run away, but the officer quickly caught up to her.

Sheri-Ann Bennett will appear in court next on Feb. 18 to face 11 outstanding arrest warrants on charges relating to possession of stolen ID and other property, escape from lawful custody, mischief, failing to appear, uttering threats and theft.



Port Moody Police are looking for the owner of a small box of jewelry recovered outside the Newport Village IGA store on the afternoon of Jan. 22.

If you or someone you know has lost their jewelry, they're asked to call police at 604-461-3456 and quote file number 2013-400.



A Port Coquitlam man who was overheard boasting about his outstanding warrants has been arrested by Transit Police.

While riding on the SkyTrain Monday afternoon, according to Transit Police, a witness overheard one man tell another he was wanted by the Vancouver Police Department and was on his way downtown to steal a car.

The witness relayed the information to officers at the Broadway and Commercial SkyTrain station and, based on the witness' description, the police located the suspect as he came up the stairs from the train level.

He hadn't paid his fare, in addition to the outstanding warrant for two mischief charges from last October in Vancouver.

Justin Charles Douglas Butters, 24, appeared in court Wednesday and was released on conditions. He'll be in court next on March 8.


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