St. Martin Parish: 2 people robbed during sales meeting from ‘Letgo’ and ‘Offerup’ app

CECILIA, La. (KLFY) Investigators say they have arrested three people following an investigation regarding two online- marketplace related armed robberies that occurred in the Cecilia area on August 6th and August 8th.

According to the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office, on Sunday August 6, an individual was lured to the vicinity of Roy J. Melancon Rd. in Cecilia, when the suspects showed their interest in purchasing an item from the individual who had posted an item for sale on the app “Letgo”.

Upon the individual’s arrival, deputies say, the three suspects subsequently robbed the individual and his passenger.

A second robbery occurred two days later when an individual was lured to Roy J. Melancon Rd., where once again, the suspects showed interest in purchasing an item from the individual who had posted an item for sale on the app “Offer Up”.

Upon arrival, the three suspects robbed the individual and his two passengers.

In both robberies, deputies say, a firearm was used and in the robbery on August 8th, one of the victims was tased by one of the suspects.

On August 10, 2017, 17 year old Vonee Gordon Jr., of Breaux Bridge, was arrested and charged as follows: armed robbery  (5 counts) and aggravated battery (1 count)

Additionally, 17 year old Kendre Batiste of Breaux Bridge was arrested and charged with armed robbery (5 counts)

Deputies say a third individual, a juvenile male, age 15, was arrested and booked into the Lafayette Parish Juvenile Detention Center on charges of armed robbery ( 5 counts)

Gordon, Jr., and Batiste were booked into the St. Martin Parish Correctional Center with a bond set at $200,000

No bond has been set on Kendre Batiste who is also in the St. Martin Parish Correctional Center.

Vonee Gordon
Kendre Batiste

With the increased use of individuals using apps on their phones and electronic devices to buy and sell merchandise, there is also increased potential for buyers and sellers to be placed in a harmful situation when conducting their transactions.

The St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office issued the following safety tips:

1. Always review the seller’s and buyer’s profile prior to setting up a transaction to check their history with other buyers and sellers.
2. Communicate through the app and never give your work or personal phone number.
3. Always arrange to meet in a very public location (preferably a place with security cameras) during day time hours and never go alone and never meet at a private residence.
4. Don’t give out your home or work address.
5. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
6. Use the highest security settings available on the app. Many of them offer additional safety options, so please utilize them.
7. Arrange for payment to be made via pay-pal so that you are not carrying cash and subjecting yourself to possibly being robbed.
8. Never give sellers or buyers your personal information.
9. Turn your location settings off on your phone when taking and posting pictures of your merchandise which will prevent them from gaining access to your location.
10. Listen to your gut instincts, if something just doesn’t feel right, don’t continue communicating with them.

 

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