Couple robbed while trying to sell iPhone on app in Winter Haven

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – Margaret Martinez and her husband just moved to Florida, and their first impression isn’t a good one.

“Honestly, it doesn’t leave a very good imprint on the state of Florida,” Martinez said.

Winter Haven Police tell us a man, who identified himself as Marcos, agreed to meet the couple at a Family Dollar store in Winter Haven to buy their iPhone 7 Plus.

They arranged the transaction on the cell phone app OfferUp, which allows people to buy and sell personal things.

The man asked to hold the phone before he forked over $600.

“He actually said ‘thank you,’ and took off running,” she said.

In a flash, he was gone with the phone and without paying.

Security cameras at the store caught video of the man roaming the aisles just before the theft.

“It was very traumatic. The only reason I’m functioning right now is because I have to,” Martinez said.

Winter Haven police officers warn people to be cautious when exchanging items online and urge them to meet at a local police department.

“No matter how convenient you think it might be, take these extra steps to save yourself from losing an item or being injured,” said Winter Haven Police Department spokeswoman Jamie Brown.

It’s a lesson the Martinez family will definitely consider if they ever try to sell something online again.

“I would caution people: do not use Offer Up,” Martinez said.

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