Man charged with using computer application to rob college stude - KMOV.com

Man charged with using computer application to rob college students

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

A St. Louis man who allegedly used a computer application to set up a robbery of two college students is now facing charges.

Seccoy M. Henderson, 22, has been charged with two counts of first-degree robbery and two counts of armed criminal action following a robbery that took place in March. 

Police say Ferez Shalik, a college student in St. Louis, was wanting to buy a cell phone and used a computer application called, "Offer Up," which is similar to Craigslist, to find one. Shalik negotiated with someone claiming to be a woman about buying one, and the two agreed to meet at 4905 Penrose in St. Louis. 

Shalik traveled to the location with Tarek Abdelmotaleb, another college student. Upon arrival, the students were robbed by four people, two of whom were wearing masks. One robber allegedly put a gun to Shalik's head as he was robbed of his iPhone, laptop, over $600 in cash and the contents of his wallet. Another robber put a gun to Abdelmotaleb's head as he was robbed of his laptop, cell phone, and computer tablet. 

After speaking with St. Louis Police, Shalik was later able to pick out Henderson in a lineup as one of the robbers. Henderson is still at large. 

Offer Up is an app that is similar to Craigslist. 

"You can do quick sales and stuff like that but you need to be sure you know who you are dealing with," says Adam Schlemper. He has been using the app for almost a year. When it comes to meeting with potential buyers, he says he vets everyone. 

Hazelwood Police are hoping to prevent crimes like what the two college students experienced. They are letting buyers and sellers have exchanges right in their parking lot in what they call their "safety zone." 

"We have a camera system that is state of the art and if something did go sideways or present a problem to one of the participants we would have resources we could fall back on to try and resolve whatever went wrong," says Hazelwood Police Chief Gregg Hall. 

Hall says both buyers and sellers need to make safety a top priority.

"I believe that the violence is a result of people being entitled and not having respect for one another and the people that want to be trusting and believe that everyone is good at heart are usually the victims, says Hall. 

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