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Sale of iPhone via a mobile app turns to armed robbery in Rutherford


The sale of an iPhone planned through a classifieds mobile application turned into an armed robbery in Rutherford that left a 33-year old man with minor injuries, police said Saturday.

The man selling the phone used the “Letgo” app, and arranged to meet a buyer on Ames Avenue Friday night, Rutherford Police Lt. Sean Farrell said.

A group consisting of three black men and one black woman arrived on Ames Avenue around 10:20 p.m. in a gold Chevy sedan the victim told police. 

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“A knife was shown, but it wasn’t used, and there was a struggle with the knife, and our victim sustained minor injuries,’’ Farrell said.

The man, who complained of pain in his head and ankle, was taken by ambulance to Hackensack University Medical Center, Farrell said. 

The sale of an iPhone planned in advanced through a classifieds mobile application turned into an armed robbery (Photo: Carolyn Kaster, AP)

Farrell said police continue to investigate. 

The growing number of people selling items with the help of social media sites led some towns in New Jersey to designate safe exchange zones — locations where people can meet and exchange items safely. Even though Rutheford hasn’t set up an official location for that purpose, Farrell said residents can use the police department parking lot.

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“If anyone wanted to go to the police department parking lot, it would be a smart idea,’’ Farrell said.

Last year, Danny Diaz-Delgado, 20, was found shot to death in Hamilton after he had gone to a location near his home where he thought he was going to buy a PlayStation from someone he had connected with on Facebook Marketplace. The death led local police to remind the public to use the designated safe zone places.

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