CPD warns of armed robberies where victims buying an ATV or motorbike are lured by bogus social media ads
CHICAGO (CBS) — Nearly 20 people who thought they were buying an ATV or motorbike were instead robbed at gunpoint.
The incidents all happened within a few blocks of each other and all the victims were lured there on sites like Facebook Marketplace and OfferUp.
CBS 2’s Lauren Victory has details on the social media muggings with the most recent incident happening less than a three minute drive from here on Sunday.
Police said they’ve been seeing the same thing happen over and over in the same area since July.
The tree colors might be changing but the M.O. is not. Nineteen people have been robbed near Ogden Park along a stretch of Marquette Road.
All of them thinking they’re about to buy a motorbike or ATV after finding the two or four-wheelers for sale on social media sites. CBS 2 found several listings on Facebook Marketplace and OfferUp. Most if not all of these are legit.
But whatever pictures or prices lured buyers to West Englewood were not.
Four times in July, twice in August, nine times in September and so far, four times in October. ATV or motorbike, thrill seekers were met by muggers wearing ski masks near the park.
The robber would pull a handgun, demand victims’ belongings then run away. Facebook’s parent company Meta is familiar with this tactic. Facebook Marketplace offers tips for meet-ups. Among them: don’t carry large amounts of cash. It said it provides information on its transactions, including:
- Law enforcement who seek records can contact us via our Safety Center (see “Law Enforcement Online Request System”). We respond to valid legal requests and may also share information with law enforcement (in line with our terms) and regulators in cases where it may prevent fraud or other types of illegal activity.
- We also publish regular reports to give people visibility into how we respond to official data requests, which can be found in our transparency center.
OfferUp said it offers community meet-up spots in its app. The company also points buyers and sellers to Safe Trade Spots.com that locates places where surveillance cameras will capture your transaction. OfferUp provided this information regarding what people can look for:
- We include a rating option at the end of each transaction
- We have established nearly 2,000 Community MeetUp Spots at retail stores and police departments across the nation
- We have a dedicated investigations team that assists law enforcement and there’s A.I. built into the app that helps us identify bad activity and items that don’t fit within our marketplace guidelines
When you search 6700 S. Elizabeth (where majority of robberies are happening) in the Safe Trade Spots database to find an official safe trade spot nearby, the results that come up closest are outside Chicago city limits
CBS 2 asked the officers at the 7th District if internet purchases can happen there. A sergeant said CPD doesn’t have designated parking spots for internet transactions, but said officers don’t mind if people buying or selling meet up out front.
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