A Vancouver Police Department patch is seen on an officer’s uniform in Vancouver, on Saturday, January 9, 2021. The department is warning people of an increase in robberies occuring during Facebook Marketplace meetups. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

Man pulls gun on designer watch seller during Facebook Marketplace meetup in Vancouver

Police say they’re seeing uptick in Marketplace robberies

A Facebook Marketplace seller was robbed at gunpoint in Kerrisdale Monday (Sept. 27) night in what the Vancouver Police Department says is an uptick in such incidents.

The man was selling a designer watch and agreed to meet up with a prospective buyer in a local coffee shop around 8 p.m. When the buyer showed up though, he pointed a gun at the seller, stole the watch and fled into a waiting vehicle, according to VPD.

They say the suspect is described as a man in his 30s with a beard.

The incident is the third such robbery since Saturday.

In the first, a 21-year-old man was trying to sell his used phone to a buyer named Matthew at around 7 p.m. in Champlain Heights. When the seller arrived, he was attacked by two men believed to be in their late teens. VPD says the teens stole the phone, then hit the seller in the head with a weapon and bear sprayed him. He required medical treatment.

On Sunday, in a second incident also in Champlain Heights, a man in his 30s went to meet up with a possible buyer to sell two iPhones. A teenage boy met him, stole the phones and ran away, according to police.

“Each of these victims took precautions and arranged to meet in a public place. Still, that wasn’t enough to prevent them from being robbed and victimized – and that has us incredibly concerned,” Sgt. Steve Addison said in a news release.

VPD is investigating if the three incidents are linked, and is suggesting that buyers and sellers meet up outside VPD headquarters at 2120 Cambie Street going forward.

Anyone who has been the victim to a similar incident is asked to contact police at 604-717-3321.

READ ALSO: Truth and Reconciliation Day: Education should be the priority, says B.C. Indigenous leader

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