Christchurch teens allegedly pulled knife in Facebook Marketplace iPhone theft

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A Christchurch man and his family are scared and angry after a Facebook market deal went sour. Photo / 123RF

A Christchurch man and his family are scared and angry after a Facebook market deal turned sour and they were allegedly threatened with a knife.

Antony (who wouldn’t give his full name) told the Herald that he listed the brand new iPhone 13 pro and received a Facebook message asking if it was still available the next morning.

They arranged a time for them to collect the item from his house later that day.

A girl and a boy came to his door, Antony said they looked about 15 or 16 years old.

They asked to look at the phone but he wouldn’t hand it over until he received payment.

The girl said she would return to their car to collect the money while the boy stayed, Antony said.

“The boy was standing next to me and he said bro, I’m picking up this phone.

“I grabbed his hand and that’s when he pulled a knife out of his waist pocket. It must have been about 30cm long.”

After a scuffle, Antony managed to grab the other hand of the boy who was holding the knife.

“He was about 5’11 and I’m 5’9 but I managed to grab his hand.”

Security camera footage of Antony outside his house.  Photo / Provided
Security camera footage of Antony outside his house. Photo / Provided

Antony said he saw his wife with their two young sons at the door watching what was happening.

“My wife was screaming. It all happened right in front of them.”

His wife yelled at him to let the boy go, which he did, and the couple quickly fled with the iPhone.

Antony said he was shocked the attack happened at 3 p.m. in the driveway of his property.

“It’s so scary to think how confident they are to commit a crime in broad daylight at a busy hour.”

After contacting the police, he noticed a new listing on Facebook Marketplace for the exact same phone that had been stolen 15 minutes earlier.

“I knew it was mine because it was 250GB, which is quite rare in New Zealand and was posted so quickly afterwards.”

An alleged post by one of the teenagers on the Facebook <a class=market. Photo / Provided” class=”article-media__image responsively-lazy” data-test-ui=”article-media__image”/>
An alleged post by one of the teenagers on the Facebook market. Photo / Provided

Antony asked his friend to contact the seller to try to get information to give to the police, he said.

They provided the serial number, which showed that it was the phone that belonged to Antony.

“It makes me angry. These teenagers could do anything. Luckily we were safe this time, but if it was a smaller person they could have died.”

After posting the story on Facebook, Antony said he was contacted by the boy’s father.

“He apologized and said the police would catch him.”

It was frustrating, Antony said, because it wasn’t the first time something like this had happened to him.

He said he had a bike stolen twice, been scammed twice and lost $20,000 in items after a burglary at his previous home a year and a half ago.

Police arrested a 15-year-old girl in connection with the incident and she was charged with robbery and aggravated assault. She will next appear in Christchurch Youth Court on May 17.

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