CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Horry County police have charged two men in connection with at least three armed robbery cases involving a popular app used for buying and selling goods online.
Police arrested and charged Justin Matthew Brown, 19, and Marquise Devonte Knight, 21, both of Loris, on March 16 with armed robbery, criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
An extensive investigation showed that Brown and Knight posted items for sale on the LetGo App, lured potential buyers to an abandoned house on the 4000 block of Cascade Road in Green Sea, and then robbed those potential buyers at gunpoint.
Two victims arrived at the home on Cascade Road with hopes to purchase a dirt bike and they were met with handguns and demands for cash.
In another incident, the victim arrived at the location with hopes to purchase a dirt bike and he was ultimately robbed and hit about the head with a handgun.
When another potential buyer came across Brown and Knight’s listing on March 16, the potential buyer became suspicious of the exchange location. The potential buyer reported this suspicious activity to Horry County Police Department, helping police arrange a meeting with Brown and Knight under the guise of making a purchase.
HCPD detectives created a fictitious LetGo App account and set up an exchange. Upon arrival, detectives and patrol officers found Brown sitting on the front porch of the abandoned home, and Knight hiding in the woods in a mask with a handgun.
Knight initially attempted to run away, ditch the weapon, and hide under a log in some brush; however, he was ultimately taken into custody.
A cell phone recovered from Brown showed LetGo message notifications from the fictitious HCPD LetGo App account.
For those who engage in the buying and selling of goods online, police provide this guidance:
– When exchanging goods or funds, always meet in a secure, public, and well-populated area.
– If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Do not go through with a suspicious exchange.
– Should circumstances turn suspicious, report the activity to the app or website you are utilizing, as well as local law enforcement authorities.