ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – A Facebook yard sale deal gone wrong this week is gaining a lot of attention on Facebook. The deal ended up with a theft, a high speed chase, minor injuries and two felony charges.
At the end of the ordeal, 18-year-old Romello Atkins and 19-year-old Damoni Wallace were charged with grand larceny and taken to Roanoke City jail.
It's what the officers at the Roanoke City Police Department call an 'unusual case.'
It started when the victim posted his Xbox for sale on an ‘electronics Roanoke yard sale' page on Facebook. He agreed to meet Atkins and Wallace in a parking lot on Melrose Avenue in Roanoke to make the exchange.
The victim told police that when the two cars met in the parking lot, he brought his Xbox up to the passenger side of the car where Atkins was sitting. When Atkins asked to inspect it, the victim handed him the Xbox. Although the victim said he saw cash in hand, Wallace, the driver then sped off.
The victim tried to stop the two by hitting his hand on the side of the car causing minor injuries.
According to a follow-up Facebook post the victim made on the yard sale page, he then chased the car while calling police.
Police caught up with the two suspects who were arrested on the scene.
The victim's post showing a picture of the arrest as well as the damage to his hand has locally gone viral.
Roanoke police say, they often deal with Craiglists scams, but Detective Henry English said this "Facebook theft" is a first.
"I think it's not common to the Roanoke Valley yet. Could it escalate? Yes. But we haven't seen that here locally yet," English said.
English says, when using these sites, never meet with a stranger alone. Always meet in a well-lit, public place such as the police department. Above all, never invite them to your home or give any personal information.
"We worry about identity theft. We worry about robbery. We worry about being set up for something bigger," English said, "Just have to use good common sense strategy. If it doesn't feel right, doesn't look right...back out."