SUMTER, SC (WIS) - The Sumter Police Department is warning residents to use extreme caution when conducting internet sale exchanges.
Police say so far in the month of November they have responded to three separate incidents linked to internet sales exchanges – with two of them happening within a few hours of each other on the same day.
"Of the three incidents reported, all have been during daylight hours at a location arranged by someone posing as a buyer and the person selling goods through Facebook Marketplace," The Sumter PD said in a statement released on Wednesday.
The first robbery happened after 2 p.m. on November 2 at an arranged meeting location in Dillon Park. An individual who was selling some gaming equipment and a long gun was robbed at gunpoint by two men. After taking the equipment and the gun the victim, the suspects then ordered the victim to drive away.
Just a few hours later on that same day, after 5 p.m., another person was attempting to sell video gaming equipment in the parking lot of a business on South Pike East. The victim was met by two men in their twenties who held him at gunpoint and took the equipment before driving off in a white SUV.
The most recent incident happened after 4 p.m. on Wednesday, November 8 near Memorial Stadium where a victim who intended to also sell video gaming equipment was robbed at gunpoint.
Officers say the robbers are described as black males, both in their twenties. One of the suspects is said to be about 6 feet tall while the other suspect is shorter.
"Only exchange items in designated locations for internet sales locations that are provided by law enforcement," the police department advised. "If not, please meet in areas that are highly visible and well-trafficked."
Sumter PD does provide an exchange site marked as the SPD E-Zone on the west-side parking lot at the corner of Hampton Avenue and Harvin Street.