BESSEMER, Ala. (WIAT) — The Bessemer Police Department made an arrest after several theft cases occurred on Marketplace, LetGo and OfferUp social media listings in the past several months.
Tywon Wyatt has been identified and charged with two counts of theft first degree.
Over a course of months in 2020, many people were victimized when meeting in Bessemer to sell their items to suspecting buyers. A common area to meet was in the 2400 block of Berkley, Clarendon and Dartmouth Avenues, police report.
Items the suspects targeted and stole were cell phones, four-wheelers and gaming electronics. Items were listed for sale on Facebook Marketplace, LetGo and OfferUp.
Many times sellers were offered more than the listed price in order to lure them to deliver the items. The suspect buyers preyed on trusting sellers by asking to test, by plugging up or test riding, the items and never returning to pay the sellers.
Wyatt has been identified and charged with two counts of first-degree theft He used screen names such as “Long Live Dre Dre, Brendon Ryder and Brandon Palmer” to hide his true identity, Bessemer police report. Wyatt has been arrested on these charges and posted bond. Detectives believe others are involved in this scheme and are continuing to work with victims on identification of the other suspects to bring more charges.
Bessemer Police say its important to meet in a safe place to conduct your buying and selling of items from social media sites. The Bessemer Police Department has a “Safe Meeting Zone” designed specifically for these transactions. The “Safe Meeting Zone” is located at the department’s Emergency Operations Center, 651 9th Avenue SW in Bessemer.