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Thieves use Kijiji ad to lure victims to robbery, warns couple

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A young couple hoping to buy a discounted iPhone 5 were robbed at gunpoint Tuesday night in the city’s North End.

The couple saw an ad on the online classified service Kijiji for an iPhone5 and made arrangements through email to meet the seller at his home in the 300 block of Magnus Avenue at about 7:30 p.m.

The couple said they arrived but thought the scene was unsafe, so contacted the seller via email and asked him to meet them at their car.

The seller insisted the couple go to the door.

But when the couple went to the home, the resident said he knew nothing about the ad.

As the couple were getting into their vehicle, they were confronted by a suspect with a sawed-off shotgun who demanded their money.

"I got in and then my girlfriend but before she could close the car door, he placed the gun barrel inside so she couldn’t close the door," the 22-year-old man said. "He pointed the barrel at her. She was really scared.

"He wanted the money. We gave it to him and then he told us to drive off and he took off."

The couple said they are convinced the robber was the same person who they had been dealing with and that he gave them the false address simply to lure them there to rob them.

The couple drove a block, pulled over and called police.

The police canine unit was brought to the scene. Winnipeg police confirmed the robbery and that no arrests have been made.

The couple said police told them Tuesday night another robbery in a similar fashion had taken place a week before.

Winnipeg police said people should exercise caution before buying or selling items through the Internet. While fraud and personal information theft is sometimes a possibility, police said robbery is an unusual circumstance and unpredictable.

History

Updated on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 4:54 PM CST: Tweaks headline.

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