Grand Theft PlayStation: Roommates robbed while trying to sell sizzling hot gaming system

Something tells us we’ll be writing more stories like this one.

Two men who tried to sell a PlayStation 5 via social media ended up being robbed of the red hot new gaming device instead, according to a Chicago police report.

CNN reported stores can’t keep the latest model in stock and online demand is causing websites to crash.

So, the robbery victims, roommates who are 22- and 23-years-old, had no trouble finding an interested party when they advertised a PS5 online over the weekend. They agreed to meet with two prospective buyers shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday on the 4100 block of North Damen in North Center.

During some last-minute in-person negotiation, one of the buyers grabbed the victims’ new PS5 and ran away southbound, according to CPD spokesperson Kellie Bartoli and a police report. The co-offender then threatened the victims with a boxcutter and fled, Bartoli said.

Neither roommate was injured. Police did not release descriptions of the robbers.

Cops frequently handle rip-offs and robberies of people who advertise valuable items for sale online, and cases seem to surge whenever a hot new product goes on the market. Sellers are at risk of losing valuable merchandise. And buyers have been robbed of cash that they carried to make purchases.

In 2017, the Lakeview-based Town Hall Police District allowed people to conduct online transactions in the station’s lobby at 850 West Addison after a series of robberies involving Craigslist and social media listings. Although the program prohibited the sale of “firearms, illegal, or unwieldy items” such as “sofas and pianos” inside the station.

CPD has consistently advised parties who meet in-person to conduct online sales to use busy public spaces like stores, libraries, and other high-traffic areas.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com