Athens police are advising residents to be careful after two people were robbed at gunpoint after arranging to meet a stranger and buy a cellphone.
The separate robberies occurred Wednesday after the prospective buyers arranged the transactions on Facebook, Athens-Clarke County police spokesman Geof Gilland said.
The first robbery occurred about noon in the 100 block of Pepperidge Lane, authorities said. The buyer told police that when he arrived, a man pulled a handgun and took his wallet before fleeing the scene.
Two hours later, police received a call from another man who told them he was robbed in the 500 block of Kathwood Drive, authorities said.
In that case, the victim was approached by multiple suspects, including one with a gun, police said. The suspects allegedly stole several personal items before leaving the area.
Athens police are encouraging residents to be cautious when agreeing to meet strangers to buy or sell something. Tips include meeting during the day in a public location with others around or meeting in the parking lot of a police station, Gilland said.
Buyers and sellers are encouraged to avoid meeting strangers at their homes and to become suspicious if the other party changes a meeting place once it has been established. Using alternate forms of payments other than cash is also encouraged, Gilland said.
Both cases remain under investigation. Anyone with information on the robberies is asked to contact Athens detective Michael Carroll at 762-400-7098 or email@example.com.
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