Monday, February 22, 2016

Armed Suspects Targeting Victims on Offer Up App Arrested in Sting Operation

Tyrone Strickland Jr.
Andre Speller

The Prince George's County Police Department recently conducted a sting operation that led to the arrest of two suspects who targeted their victims through the Offer Up app. The suspects are 22-year-old Tyrone Strickland Jr. of the 7700 block of Starboard Drive in Capitol Heights and 36-year-old Andre Speller of the 5300 block of Doppler Street in Capitol Heights.

On February 16th, several divisions within the PGPD, assisted by two outside agencies, conducted an operation to arrest the two men wanted for an armed robbery of a victim on February 6th in Capitol Heights. In that case, two teenage victims were robbed of cash after connecting with a seller on Offer Up. The victims from Anne Arundel County drove to Abel Avenue after seeing a post for a dirt bike. When they arrived, the two suspects pulled out guns and robbed the victims.


During the sting operation, detectives with our Regional Investigation Division - Central Region - arranged to buy another dirt bike posted by the suspects. When the suspects arrived to the meeting location, again on Abel Avenue, they were arrested. One of the suspects was carrying a handgun with an extended magazine.

Criminals are misusing the popular classified ad app, using it to lure victims into potentially dangerous situations. We are investigating at least seven such cases in our county in recent months. The Prince George's County Police Department urges anyone who uses any type of classified ad to follow these safety tips:

*Never go alone to the transaction location. Always try to bring a second person with you. 

*It's best to talk to potential seller or buyer on the phone. Do not communicate only through an app or online.

*Only meet a potential buyer or seller in a public place - like a shopping center.

*Trust your instincts. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

*Unless the item is too large to bring out of your home, never invite a buyer to your home. 

Anyone with information on any of these cases is urged to call the Regional Investigation Division (Central) at (301) 772-4911. Callers can remain anonymous by calling CRIME SOLVERS at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). You may also text “PGPD plus your tips” to CRIMES (274537) on your cell phone or and submit a tip online. Crime Solvers is offering a CASH REWARD of up to $25,000 for tips that lead to an arrest and indictment. 

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