Online sales turned into armed robberies twice this week in Old Town

It happened twice in two days at the same Old Town intersection. Each time, armed robbers took property from a victim who thought they were going to meet up with someone who agreed to buy electronics online. Instead, the property was taken from them at gunpoint.

Most recently, a 21-year-old woman went to the 1600 block of North Orchard around 6:15 p.m. Thursday to sell a used iPhone to someone she met online. Two men confronted her on the street. One put a gun to her head while the other ordered her to turn over the phones, Officer Ronald Westbrook said.

She handed over two phones, and the offenders fled into a nearby alley. The robbers were male, Black, 15- to 20-years-old, and about 6-feet tall. One of them wore a Rick and Morty sweatshirt.

A similar scenario unfolded around 3:05 p.m. Wednesday, Westbrooks said.

A 20-year-old man met someone online and agreed to sell them an iPad. Moments before the meeting, the victim received a message saying the other party’s friend would pick up the iPad instead. As soon as the victim confirmed that a man standing on the 1600 block of North Orchard was the “friend,” another person came around a corner and displayed a handgun, Westbrooks said.

The two men took all of the victim’s property and ran into a nearby alley. Westbrooks said the suspects are two Black males between 18- and 20-years-old who stand about 6’1″ tall. One wore all black clothing while the other wore black pants with white gym shoes.

Area Three detectives are investigating the robberies.

Tip: Most Chicago police stations allow people to meet in their lobbies to conduct online sales of small valuables.

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