Multiple people robbed after Marktplaats appointments

Police officer looking for witnesses
Police officer looking for witnesses. (Photo: Politie)

Over the past days several people were robbed after making an appointment to either buy or sell a cellphone through Marktplaats. The robberies happened in Rotterdam, Vlaardingen and Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht. All victims were threatened with a firearm, the police said in a statement.

On Tuesday evening around 8:00 p.m. two men from Utrecht were robbed at gunpoint in Rotterdam. They had an appointment to buy a cellphone. When they were in a car with the sellers, the sellers pulled out a gun instead of the phone. The Utrecht men were robbed of several thousand euros.

On Wednesday, two other attempted robberies took place, again after a Marktplaats appointment. Though in both these cases, the robbers fled empty handed.

At around 8:45 p.m. a resident of Aalscholverlaan in Vlaardingen had an appointment with a man who wanted to buy a cellphone from him. The man showed up at the door, pulled a firearm and threatened the seller. The Vlaardingen man managed to chase the would-be robber off without giving him the phone.

Shortly thereafter, at around 9:30 p.m., there was a similar incident in Hendrik-Ido-Amacht. Here too a potential cellphone buyer showed up at a home on Panneboeter and threatened the seller with a firearm. He tried to grab the cellphone, but did not succeed and fled empty handed.

The police are investigating these incidents and call on witnesses to come forward. 

The police advice people using Marktplaats to first check the person they're in contact with on Google, social media and internet forums, before making an appointment. "Don't agree to meet in remote places and use your common sense: if something seems too good to be true, it usually is."

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