A man who is believed to have been on a spree of smartphone thefts has been arrested and charged with 15 different instances.
On June 6, Surrey RCMP arrested Manjinder Nagra, 22, who faces 14 counts of theft under $5,000 and one count of robbery, where it’s alleged he claimed to have a weapon.
For some time, police had been tracking the activity of a man using Craigslist to target individuals who want to buy or sell smartphones.
The man arranged a meeting with the potential buyer or seller and wins their trust, before creating a diversion and escaping with the money or phone.
In some cases, he even offered collateral, such as keys, to the person selling the phone, but failed to return with the device.
“The high liquidity and portability of these devices is an extremely attractive quality for these thieves,” Surrey RCMP Sgt. Drew Grainger said in a release.
“This arrest will hopefully minimize the number of these thefts that have recently emerged as a problem in the region and alert people to the potential risks associated to buying/selling these products online.”
It’s the second significant arrest regarding smartphone theft in recent months.
Although overall robbery statistics have been decreasing in the City of Surrey, personal street robberies continue to be an area of concern for the Surrey RCMP. Mounties are urging residents to be vigilant. Trusting your instincts and adequately protecting your property is a good start, police say.