DECATUR — Police said they have found one of the teenage suspects being sought in connection with an incident in which a person was robbed after setting up an online Facebook deal to sell expensive sneakers.
Detective Sgt. Steve Carroll with the Decatur police said a 15-year-old Decatur boy was located Wednesday who was wanted in connection with a Sunday afternoon robbery in the 1000 block of East Johns Avenue.
“Juvenile Division detectives got a hold of the kid’s (suspect’s) mom, and she is going to bring him up for an interview,” Carroll said Thursday. He said computer experts at the police department traced the teen through online interactions.
Asked if police would be talking to him about other, similar crimes, Carroll said: “I would think so, yes.”
Police said that in the Sunday robbery a 16-year-old seller of the shoes was robbed of cash after a teenager posing as a buyer had asked him to make change. The seller had been lured to the East Johns Avenue location after arranging a deal to sell Air Jordan sneakers via Facebook messages, police said.
That robbery came barely 24 hours after a similar incident Saturday afternoon involving a 19-year-old victim. On that occasion the seller had arranged to sell two pairs of Air Jordan shoes with a buyer he met near Garfield Montessori School, 300 Meadow Terrace Place.
While the seller was showing the shoes to the teenage buyer, another teen appeared and threatened him with a handgun and then both robbers grabbed the shoes and fled, police said.
Police have urged sellers making a rendezvous with potential buyers in deals arranged on the internet to meet at a safe place. The Decatur Police Department headquarters at 707 West South Side Drive has a sign outside marking it as an e-commerce space with a lobby that is under constant video surveillance.
“If you are dealing with somebody who doesn’t want to meet you there, then tell them, ‘Well, I’m not selling you my shoes, then,’” Carroll said.