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The Aberdeen Police Department was able to arrest a 16 year old male and a 19 year old male late Monday afternoon for the attempted theft of an iPhone during a transaction scheduled using the letgo app.

There have been recent reports to the police department of suspects using the internet app to setup meetings with people wishing to sell electronic devices such as an iPhone. When meeting the victim the suspect’s would pay the victim using counterfeit money and quickly flee the scene before the seller can respond. After the phones were stolen, it is believed that they were being resold according to law enforcement.

To combat these brazen thieves, Detective Shannon Darling with the Aberdeen Police Department setup a reverse sting online in an attempt to catch the thieves. Detectives listed an iPhone online using the letgo app and were approached about establishing a meeting Monday afternoon on Moore Street in Aberdeen to buy the phone.

When the suspects attempted to buy the device they again used counterfeit money to make the purchase and were taken into custody after a brief foot pursuit by officers.

Aberdeen Investigators and Patrol Officers arrested Devonte Lenore Dwight Erwin, 19 years of age, of Aberdeen NC. He was confined in the Moore County Detention Center under a $50,000.00 secure bond with a court date of 05/02/2019.

Also charged was Michael McLaurin, 16 years of age, of Aberdeen. He was confined in the Moore County Detention Center under a $35,000.00 secure bond with a court date of 05/02/2019.

The two face charges that include Common Law Robbery, Fraud, Forgery and Uttering, Resist Delay and Obstruct, and Intent Sell and Deliver Schedule VI and Possession of Schedule VI.

Aberdeen Police Chief Carl Colasacco wanted to remind citizens that they are always welcome to use the lobby of the police department on US Highway 1 as a safe place to conduct internet transactions. The Southern Pines Police Department also provides a safe place for citizens to conduct transactions at the police department.

(Updated 4/9/2019 11:27 am)


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