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Man arrested after online classified ads lead to three robberies on Friday

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KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Kalamazoo County deputies say a man was luring people to his apartment through online classified ads and then robbing them.

In fact, we’re told it happened three times in about an hour on Friday.

The suspect is currently at the Kalamazoo County Jail, he was picked up on an unrelated arrest warrant Friday.

Deputies say that on Friday afternoon, the suspect agreed to meet three people who were selling video game equipment on Facebook, but when they showed up at his apartment complex, they were robbed, some of them at gunpoint.

During their Facebook transaction, deputies say the 22-year-old man asked the seller to meet by his home at the Evergreen South Apartments in Oshtemo Township.

“I wouldn’t do it personally,” said Xavion Love of Kalamazoo, “come meet at a shady apartment complex on the west side?”

The first call for help came in around 11:00 am Friday, moments after a victim was robbed at the apartment complex. Deputies say during the robbery, the suspect implied he had a gun.

“A lot of time what you don’t necessarily see is not what you get,” said witness William Alexander.

Within the next hour, two other similar reports came in from the same apartment complex. This time deputies say the suspect showed victims his gun before robbing them.

“Out of nowhere county sheriffs,” said Alexander, “come out flying out on the corner, K-9 unit, they walked the dog around here.”

A search ensued, with state police joining in. The stolen items were recovered and the suspect was located inside one of the apartments.

Neighbors say it’s a reminder of the danger that can be lurking online.

“We bought this car from Indiana,” said Love. “We met at the police station. You’re not supposed to meet at an apartment, that’s sketchy.”

A number of police departments in the area have designated safe transaction areas.

“I actually do a lot of buy, selling, trading,” said Alexander. “Not so much on Facebook, but Craiglist, I’ve came across a few sketchy situations where I was worried.”

Undersheriff Pali Matyas says charges will likely be filed against the suspect on Saturday. The suspect is expected to face multiple counts of strong-arm robbery.

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