Calgary, AB,

Police arrest two suspects in series of online marketplace thefts

We have arrested one youth and one man who are believed to be responsible for a series of robberies and thefts that occurred during buy-and-sell transactions for electronics advertised for sale online.

Between Sunday, April 23, 2023, and Monday, May 29, 2023, 12 robberies and thefts occurred across the city after multiple sellers posted iPhones for sale online. It is believed multiple suspects were posing as the same prospective buyer, using the same Facebook profile with the name “Chris Luma.”

After multiple reports containing similar descriptions of a getaway vehicle used after the robberies and thefts occurred, police were able to determine two suspects who were believed to be involved in the incidents.

On Monday, May 29, 2023, a search warrant was executed in the 100 block of Cedardale Road S.W. which resulted in the seizure of stolen electronics, stolen license plates and the arrest of one of the suspects.

As a result, Deng AMAG, 18, has been charged with one count of robbery, one count of theft under $5,000, one count of trafficking stolen property under $5,000 and multiple breaches of court orders. He is scheduled to next appear in court on Friday, June 9, 2023.

On the same day, another search warrant was executed in the 4400 block of Richardson Way S.W. that resulted in the arrest of a second suspect, a 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. He is charged with one count of robbery and four counts of theft under $5,000.

He will next appear in court on Friday, June 16, 2023.

The Calgary Police Service reminds citizens of the following safety tips when engaging in buy-and-sell transactions:

  • Be cautious of selling to online profiles that have recently been created, and that have few, if any, personal photos or “friends."

  • Always meet in a public place where there is CCTV coverage, such as a coffee shop or a police district parking lot. Consider taking someone along with you. Refrain from going to a stranger’s house to deliver items or arranging to meet at your own residence.

  • Request an e-transfer as payment, instead of cash. This will usually act as a deterrent for potential thieves, as the transaction can be documented. 

  • Don’t factory reset your phone until the sale has been completed. (If the phone is stolen, you can track it with “Find My App.”)

  • Stay alert and observe your surroundings. If something feels wrong (like an overly nervous buyer), back away from the sale.

  • Always report suspicious people, behaviour or crimes in progress to law enforcement by calling 9-1-1.

We encourage anyone who has been a victim of a theft or a robbery during a buy-and-sell transaction to report the incident to police so that evidence can be gathered and investigated in a timely manner. Crimes can be reported by calling the police non-emergency number at 403-266-1234 or by calling 9-1-1 for a crime in progress.

CA # 23185516/4108