Victim robbed, dragged by vehicle during arranged sale of cellphone in Kitchener, Ont., police say
KITCHENER -- A Kitchener, Ont., man who advertised a cellphone for sale using an online platform was robbed and dragged by a vehicle during the transaction, police said.
Police were called to the area of Frederick Street in Kitchener on Wednesday around 4:30 p.m. for a report of a robbery.
The victim, 24-year-old Eric Dunne, said he had made arrangements to meet with someone who wanted to buy a phone.
Dunne said he regularly uses Facebook Marketplace to buy and sell small items.
After facing financial challenges due to COVID-19 and a mental health leave from work, he decided to sell his iPhone 12 Pro Max. He said he agreed to sell the phone at his home on Wednesday afternoon.
A man and woman arrived in a white four-door sedan and Dunne said he went to talk to the male passenger. According to police, the man inside the vehicle grabbed the phone and started assaulting Dunne. The woman then began to drive the vehicle out of the driveway, dragging Dunne along the side of the car.
"My family is, of course, traumatized and devastated," Dunne said.
Dunne said he was dragged about 30 feet in the driveway. He fell onto the lawn and the whole incident was captured on his home security camera.
The man sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the incident.
“Watching the soon to be father of our unborn child almost getting dragged completely under the car. It was terrifying,” said Dunne’s fiancée, Brianna Foster
His family called 911. Dunne filed a police report and was taken to hospital.
Dunne said he sustained multiple injuries including severe road rash to his arms and legs, a potential concussion and a minor fracture to his right hand.
Police said the vehicle was last seen heading towards Guelph on Victoria Street North.
The passenger is described as a man with brown skin in his mid-20s, wearing a toque, facemask and long sleeve sweater. The woman driving the vehicle also has brown skin and in her mid-20s. She has long black hair and was also wearing a mask.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.
BUY AND SELL EXCHANGE ZONES
Waterloo regional police offer three buy and sell exchange zones for anyone arranging purchases using an online forum.
The are located in parking lots of police facilities at:
- North Division - 45 Columbia Street East, Waterloo
- Headquarters (front parking lot) - 200 Maple Grove Road, Cambridge
- South Division – 176 Hespeler Road, Cambridge
If it's not possible to meet at a buy and sell exchange area, police recommend setting up meetings in well-lit, public and popular locations.
"Take all precautions necessary," Dunne said. "Make sure you're doing it in a safe place, a safe environment with lots of people around. Make sure that these things don't happen to you, because very quickly I almost lost my life (Wednesday night.)
Police also say people should set up sales during daylight hours, bring someone with you for the meeting and inspect the goods prior to exchanging money.