Richmond police remind residents to use Safe Exchange Zones after Facebook Marketplace deal goes wrong

Richmond police have made an arrest in a robbery that happened at a Safe Exchange Zone.
Richmond police have made an arrest in a robbery that happened at a Safe Exchange Zone.(Richmond Police)
Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 4:39 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 26, 2022 at 3:00 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond police have made an arrest in a robbery following a Facebook Marketplace deal that went wrong.

On Jan. 21, officers were called to the 1800 block of Mansion Avenue, where they learned that a robbery happened.

“A family reported they arrived to the location to buy an iPhone 11 as listed on Facebook Marketplace when they were robbed by an armed male who stole their mobile phone and cash,” RPD said.

No one was injured in the incident.

Detectives arrested Ricky Coleman, 25, of Richmond. He is charged with robbery and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Ricky Coleman, 25, of Richmond
Ricky Coleman, 25, of Richmond(Richmond Police)

“Completing online transactions with unknown parties in person can present security challenges. Every day, people within our community are buying, selling or swapping items through the use of websites such as LetGo, OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. While the vast majority of those offline exchanges are completed without incident, internet exchange-related activities can present the potential for threats including theft, robbery and other violent crimes,” a release said.

Police urge residents to use caution when meeting up with someone who was met online. RPD said residents should consider using Safe Exchange Zones, which are under video surveillance. There are marked parking spaces at Second Precinct, 177 E. Belt Blvd. and Fourth Precinct, 2219 Chamberlayne Ave.

“Safe exchange zones should be considered when meeting unknown persons for transactions. These areas are recorded around the clock and this video is beneficial to detectives should a criminal investigation become necessary,” a release said.

RPD released the following safety tips:

  • Stay alert
  • Use a Safe Exchange Zone
  • Meet during the daytime, not at night
  • Bring someone with you to the exchange
  • Meet in a public place with other people nearby

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