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Meet arranged online to buy property turns into armed robbery

If something is too good to be true – it probably is.

NORTH BATTLEFORD — Battlefords RCMP responded to the report of a robbery shortly before 1 p.m. on Sept. 25. Charges have now been laid and RCMP have issued advice to the public.

RCMP say the victim arranged an online sale of property with an unknown male. The suspect changed the location for the exchange at the last moment to the area of 108th Street and 9th Avenue in North Battleford. When the victim arrived, he was approached by a lone male with a firearm, who stole a cell phone and cash from the victim before fleeing. The victim was not physically injured.

As a result of continued investigation, on Sept. 29, the Battlefords RCMP Detachment and RCMP Gang Task Force arrested a 26-year-old North Battleford man at a residence in the city in relation to the Sept. 25 robbery. A search warrant was subsequently executed at a property in North Battleford by members of North Battleford RCMP General Investigation Section and RCMP Gang Task Force, where evidence in relation to this investigation was located and seized.

The 26-year-old man is charged with:

  • Robbery with a firearm;
  • Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose;
  • Unauthorized possession of a firearm;
  • Possess firearm knowing it’s unauthorized;
  • Carrying a concealed weapon;
  • Three counts fail to comply with a release condition;

The RCMP wishes to remind the public to always take steps to ensure their safety when arranging buy/sell exchanges with someone they do not know. Some suggestions include:

  • Check the other party’s social media profiles for anything that makes you uncomfortable, and do not agree to meet if something seems out of place;
  • Always meet in a well lit, public space;
  • Complete your transaction during daytime hours;
  • Have someone accompany you to the transaction or at the very least – let someone know the details of who you will be meeting, date, time and location of the exchange;
  • Agree on transaction details before agreeing to meet;
  • Carry a phone with you;
  • Limit the amount of personal information you provide;

Remember: If something is too good to be true – it probably is.

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