The Bordentown Township Police Department recently issued charges against two Pennsylvania men for online market scamming.
Police officials announced on June 14 that Philadelphia residents, Rayvon Green, 31, and Stefon Locke, 29, allegedly purchased items on a popular buy-and-sell smartphone app with counterfeit currency.
Officials reported that this investigation originated on June 13 when a Roebling resident walked into the township police department headquarters and reported that they had negotiated the sale of an iPhone XS Max for $820 via the “letgo” app and arranged to meet the buyer in the parking lot of a Bordentown Township strip mall.
The alleged sale was conducted on the evening of June 12 and the victim later realized that the buyer had paid them with counterfeit currency, according to police officials.
Officials reported that the victim turned over the counterfeit money to police and advised that the same buyer was still active on the app, attempting to purchase additional cell phones.
Township police said that they then conducted an undercover operation posing as a seller of an iPhone X on the smartphone app, and the same buyer requested to meet in order to purchase the phone. The undercover officer then arranged a meet in the parking lot of a local township business and Green and Locke arrived in a silver Chevy Malibu, according to police.
Police officials reported that Green then approached the undercover officer and handed him $800 in counterfeit currency for the iPhone. At that point, police reported that backup units moved in and took both subjects into custody.
The alleged offenders were found to possess an additional $320 in counterfeit currency, 58 oxycodone pills and a small quantity of marijuana at the time of their arrest, according to police.
Police said they also seized $741 in genuine currency from the pair, which will be held pending forfeiture and is believed to be proceeds of similar scams. The original victim who reported this matter identified both subjects in custody as the same duo who defrauded them on June 12.
Both subjects were charged with theft by deception, conspiracy, forgery and drug offenses and lodged in the Burlington County Jail pending a detention hearing.
Following an investigation of the incident, township police chief Brian Pesce released a statement regarding the his department’s involvement in the matter as well as his department’s commitment to stifling crime in the area.
“This incident is a perfect example of why our department previously established a safe transaction zone at our municipal building where residents can conduct their online purchases and sales,” police chief Brian Pesce said. “These types of scams are becoming more prevalent and users have to take necessary precautions to protect themselves from becoming a victim.
“I commend my officers for quickly undertaking a successful operation that will make these scammers accountable for their criminal behavior,” Pesce said.
This case was investigated by Sergeant Frank Nucera, Sergeant Keith Stahl, Detective Josh Pavlov, Officer Kevin Guire, Officer Anthony Nagle and Officer Michael Moloney.