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Armed robbery highlights importance of safe zones: 'Do it a different way'

Man selling gaming console via app robbed in Richmond 
Posted at 6:32 PM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 18:33:05-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Police are investigating several thefts in the Richmond's East End, including an armed robbery officers said happened when a young man tried to sell his gaming console via an app.
Armed robbery highlights importance of safe zones: 'Do it a different way'

Police said a young man was using the Letgo app to try to sell a gaming console when the potential buyer pulled out a gun and stole his wallet in the 2500 block of Fairfield Avenue around 10 p.m.

The location is about four city blocks from where Michael Grey's son, Joshua, was murdered in September of 2018 while trying to sell his iPhone.

"I struggle with it, I really do," Grey said. "As a father who lost his son, it's very difficult."

Grey said he is stunned by the number of these types of crimes.

"It's mind blowing, shocking and disappointing," Grey said. "But I will tell you, I feel we've made significant progress. And the city is making progress with safe exchange zones they are putting in place."

Police said a juvenile suspect has been detained in connection to the crime, which highlights the importance of safe exchange zones.

"People are not going to be opposed to going somewhere where it shows the light of day," crime expert Steve Neal pointed out. "But if it's ill-legit, and somebody says, 'No, I'm not meeting you there.' Then that's a clue that you need to walk away from that deal."

Neal said trusting your gut also plays a big part as to whether to pursue making a deal.

"In today's environment, there's absolutely no reason for us to be meeting somebody on a dark street corner late at night. It's just not necessary and safety makes it easier for us to do it a different way."

Crime Insider sources said the suspect will soon be served with juvenile petitions.

If you have information that could help detectives, call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000 or submit a tip online at The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smart phones may also be used. All three Crime Stoppers methods of contact are anonymous.