Man carjacked during online sale; Winnipeg police considering safe-selling site

Winnipeg police say they’re looking more seriously into a safe-selling site for online buyers and sellers to meet.The most recent case is a Winnipeg man who was the victim of a carjacking Monday night when the sale of an electronic item went wrong.Police said the victim, 36, had responded to an online ad and went to a pre-arranged location in the area of Selkirk Avenue and McKenzie Street around 8 p.m. Monday with the intention of purchasing the item.Story continues below

During the transaction, the ‘seller’ pulled out a gun and ordered the victim to walk away from his vehicle.READ MORE: Safe selling site pops up in BrandonNo one was injured, but the victim’s vehicle, a blue, 2004, four-door Ford Explorer was stolen. Police searched the area but weren’t able to find the stolen vehicle.Const. Tammy Skrabek said the idea of finding a place, similar to one in Brandon, for buyers and sellers to meet where they would have some police protection is being “seriously looked into” by Winnipeg police.“Especially this year, there’s such an increase this year,” in robberies and thefts around online selling, she said.There’s no timeline on the project, but Skrabek said she hopes to see an announcement in the future.READ MORE: Carjacking ends with assault on police, numerous chargesIn the meantime, police are encouraging the public to be cautious when buying or selling items online, and offer the following safety tips:Ask for a photo of the serial number before meeting and attempt to confirm the item hasn’t been reported stolen.Search the serial number online.Conduct a reverse search of the posted image of the item for sale.Don’t provide your personal information to anyone.Check the buyer/seller’s name through an online search engine.Ask about the history of the item being sold.Meet during daylight hours, in a public space equipped with cameras.Do not transfer/provide money to the person before receiving the product.Do not meet someone alone.Use generic photos when posting an item for sale.The police Major Crimes Unit continues to investigate. Anyone with information is asked to call 204-986-6219 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS.WATCH: Carjackings happening more often in Winnipeg