METHUEN – A man who expected to buy a used iPhone 6 in Methuen on Thursday was at gunpoint, police said.
Lawrence and Methuen Police Department together arrested four people after the man said he showed up at 58 Broadway with $ 200, the previously agreed price of the phone. He handed the money to a young woman, who got into a black Honda and tried to pull away, police said.
As the man approached the Honda, one of the car’s four passengers pointed a gun at him, police said. The man backed up and the Honda fled towards Lawrence.
Justin Ramon Suriel, 19, of Methuen, has been charged with armed robbery while in possession of a masked and unlicensed firearm. Kayla Marie Anderson, 20, and Jason Pacheco, 25, both of Lawrence, have been charged with armed robbery. A young woman has also been charged with armed robbery.
Police said the man arranged the sale in advance through a Facebook page called “Lawrence Electronics”, which is still active. Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon said thefts of a similar nature occur periodically in Methuen, but rarely at gunpoint.
“Usually, if there’s a setup like this, the person picks up (the phone) and runs away. We’ve never really seen them armed like that,” he said.
Solomon said the ministry will issue a notice when it becomes aware of scams, but he believes Thursday’s incident was isolated.
“The reason we posted the story (on Facebook) is to let people know not to buy a cell phone or radio from someone you find online,” Solomon said.