INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man is accused of using Facebook Marketplace to commit a series of armed robberies over the last six months.
The first of the five robberies took place last September.
In December, a second victim was lured to the same apartment complex on Timberly drive with plans of buying a car.
This month, a third victim showed up at an apartment complex along 52nd street to purchase a red Kia.
The next day, a fourth victim came to a complex on Gateshead lane to buy a Chevy Cruze.
Just last week, a fifth victim arrived at a complex on Luzzane lane to buy a grey Honda.
In each case, police claim those victims were robbed at gunpoint by Trelandice Moore, who turned 22-years-old in jail on Monday.
Because the encounters were all arranged using Facebook Marketplace, IMPD cautions everyone to be careful when agreeing to meet strangers.
“You’ve never seen these folks before, so until you meet them, you don’t know what their intentions are,” said IMPD officer William Young.
For their part, police say the robberies are completely avoidable if people practice a little precaution.
In recent years, IMPD set up E-Commerce safe zones at each of their six district headquarters buildings.
“We don’t want you to get hurt doing an online purchase, so we encourage people to use one of our six service districts around the city and that way it’s an extra precaution so you’re safe and your family is safe,” said Young.
According to the affidavit, Moore was put under surveillance after each of the victims identified Moore as one of two suspects involved in all the robberies.
After being arrested Moore confessed to four of the crimes, but claimed he acted alone.
Police have not arrested any additional suspects. They hope the case serves as a lesson to everyone engaged in online sales, including those intent on taking advantage of others.
“Hopefully this sends a message that our detectives will catch you,” said Young.
One of the victims said he was pistol-whipped as he tried to run away during the robbery, but none of the other victims suffered any serious injuries.