Man charged with armed robbery after organizing Facebook phone sale

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police say a 20-year-old man has been arrested following an alleged theft. Police responded to a theft in E. Harry’s 8800 block on Wednesday.

After contacting the victim, officers learned that a suspect had advertised a phone for sale on Facebook and arranged to meet the victim in the parking lot at that location. After the suspect and the victim met, the suspect used a gun to steal money from the victim and then fled to a nearby apartment.

Police located the suspect in an apartment and arrested him. Brannen Ratliff was convicted of aggravated theft. He was taken to Sedgwick County Jail.

Tips for staying safe and protecting yourself when shopping for items on social media:

  • Discuss the details of the transaction before the meeting: where you meet, when you meet, how to contact them
  • Meet in a public place: ideally a well-lit and lively place during the day.
  • Consider bringing a friend: it can help reduce the chances of a buyer / seller trying to steal from you, and your friend can be a good witness if something were to happen
  • Trust your instincts: if something is wrong, you probably feel this way for a reason
  • Do not give out personal information

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