Hamilton Police are warning the public to be cautious while meeting up with sellers and buyers through popular selling websites such as Kijiji after an Ontario man was charged in an attempted robbery earlier this week. Abdikadir Abdi, 19, attempted to use a form of pepper spray in an attempt to rob the seller during a Kijiji transaction. The suspect appeared in court this Sunday after several charges were laid.
According to a Hamilton Police news release, the incident occurred just before 7:00 PM on Saturday, March 16, 2019, in the area of Bay Street North and Cannon Street West in Hamilton. A buyer had agreed to meet up with Abdi to sell their cellphone that they had posted on Kijiji.
Abdi entered the seller's vehicle, where he asked to see the cellphone. Once the phone was handed over to Abdi, he attempted to flee the car without paying. The seller attempted to grab the phone back and Abdi then sprayed him with an aerosol irritant that police believe was similar to pepper spray.
Abdi fled the scene but ended up leaving his wallet behind in the victim's car.
Abdi then contacted the Hamilton Police and played the victim as he informed them that a man had attempted to rob him of his wallet and he had to use pepper spray to escape.
Police were quick to launch an investigation and to discover that Abdi was not to the victim of this case. Abdi was located and arrested and was forced to answer to several charges such as robbery, intent to endanger life or cause bodily harm, and possession under $5,000.
In light of this incident, Hamilton Police are reminding the public that they should always be cautious while meeting with unknown people, especially during a sales transaction.
Always make sure that you meet in a public area, preferably in daylight and near surveillance cameras. Bring friends or family members along with you, and never meet up with a stranger alone.
Police also warn to never give out personal banking information on the internet and to always use common sense when it comes to the prices of products. If something sounds like a deal that is "too good to be true", always be cautious.