Teen charged in Canley Heights following online robbery scams

Two teenagers have been charged following a police investigation into a string of robberies targeting mobile phone private sellers in Sydney’s west, involving an online marketplace.

Since December 2016, officers from Flemington Local Area Command have received a number of reports of robberies which have occurred in similar circumstances.

Each of these robberies have involved users of the online marketplace ‘Gumtree’ meeting with prospective buyers to sell their mobile phones.

Police will allege once the seller arrives at the agreed location to sell their phone, they are then robbed of the phone by two males.

Offences have been reported from Lidcombe, Strathfield, Regents Park, Merrylands, Brookvale, Marsfield, and Canley Heights.

Detectives from Flemington Local Area Command established Strike Force Hayden to investigate the incidents and were assisted with information provided by Gumtree.

Following inquiries and assistance from the public, today (Wednesday, March 15) Strike Force Hayden detectives executed a search warrant at a home in Canley Heights where a 17-year-old boy was arrested.

During the search police located and seized a mobile phone.

A short time later, an 18-year-old man was arrested in at a home on Marion Street, Auburn.

Both teens were taken to Auburn Police Station where the 17-year-old was charged with three counts of robbery in company, steal from person, furious driving, predatory driving, fraud, armed with intent and participate in criminal group.

It will be alleged the offences date back to  December 14, 2016; one of the incidents involved an attempt to make a false insurance claim on a vehicle.

The 18-year-old was charged with robbery in company, armed with intent, and participate in a criminal group.

Both were refused bail. The 18-year-old will appear in Burwood Local Court and the 17-year-old teen will appear at a children’s court tomorrow (Thursday, March 16 2017).

Investigations continue with further charges expected to be laid.

Anyone with information about these incidents who has not yet spoken to police is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.