On December 14, 2017, a 30 year old Kokomo woman reported the robbery and theft of a cellular telephone to the Kokomo Police Department (KPD).

The victim reported she advertised the cellular telephone for sale on an online website.  After agreeing on a price for the sale of the telephone and a location to meet with the “potential buyer”, the victim and a friend met with the “potential buyer” in a north side residential area of Kokomo. The victim reported that the “potential buyer” forcibly removed the phone from the woman’s hands and fled on foot from the area. The strong armed robbery occurred on December 14th at approximately 7:23 p.m. 

Officers of the Kokomo Police Department conducted an investigation of the strong armed robbery, including the profile of the “potential buyer”.  The investigation revealed two other KPD reports in December 2017 with victims of theft with the same online selling application in the same general area of the City.

On December 26th, at approximately 5:27 p.m., officers of the KPD arranged through this same online sale application for the “purchase” of a cellular telephone with a person on the same profile as the “potential buyer” in KPD case 2017-08146 at a north side residential area.

Uniformed and plainclothed KPD officers approached the male subject as he arrived at the meeting location. The male subject attempted to place his hand in his jacket pocket and he was detained. The male subject was found to be in possession of a revolver, heroin, marijuana, U.S. Currency, and the cellular telephone reported stolen (KPD case 2017-8146 on 12/14/2017).

Officers arrested a 17 year old Kokomo male for Robbery (strong armed), a level 5 felony; Dangerous Possession of a Firearm, a level 5 felony; Possession of a Narcotic Drug with enhancement (handgun), a level 5 felony; Possession of Marijuana with a prior conviction, a misdemeanor; Never Obtaining a Driver’s License, a C misdemeanor; and Possession of Stolen Property (with prior conviction) a level 6 Felony. The juvenile was transported to the Kinsey Youth Center. No injuries were reported. 

KPD recognizes it is common for citizens to buy and sell property to people via the internet. In instances where the buyer and seller are not known to each other, personal safety is an important factor in the transaction. Unfortunately, in today’s society criminals may utilize the internet to victimize buyers and sellers.

The Kokomo Police Department offers the following safety tips:

•  Never meet anyone at your home. Always meet in a public place where there is a high volume of pedestrian or vehicle traffic.

•  Avoid meeting at night. If you must, choose a location that is well lighted and has a high volume of pedestrian or vehicle traffic. 

•  Take a family member or friend with you to witness the transaction.

•  Be aware that some criminals use financial or personal information such as credit cards or driver’s license information to engage in identity theft. Be     careful when sharing personal information.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact the Kokomo Police Department Hotline at (765) 456-7017.  You may report your anonymous tip to Central Indiana Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.