WHEATLEY HEIGHTS - A Wyandanch man is facing charges for allegedly using a mobile app to target robbery victims over the course of about two weeks.
Tyriek Coleman, 30, allegedly used the buying and selling app "letgo" to set up meetings with sellers of high-end jewelry and rob them. He was on parole at the time of the robberies, according to authorities.
Police said he sprayed a man with Mace and stole the victim's $5,000 watch on May 13. Ten days later, police said Coleman stole a $3,000 diamond ring from another man.
After that, Coleman allegedly tried to Mace another man at a meet-up in Wheatley Heights and steal a Breitling watch worth about $12,000, but that man fought back. Coleman allegedly fled, but detectives arrested him on Monday after setting up a sting operation.
Coleman, who is being held on $45,000 bail, is charged with robbery, attempted robbery and criminal possession of stolen property.
In a statement, letgo said its app has been downloaded millions of times and that the majority of its users are trustworthy. The company also said the safety and satisfaction of its customers are top priorities, and it urged users to exercise good judgment.
Suffolk residents can use safe-transaction zones that were created in April in Riverhead and Yaphank for online deals. Law enforcement officers staff the zones.
Nassau County also recently set up safe-transaction zones at its 2nd, 5th and 6th police precincts.