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Mooresville police offer online buying and selling service after teen becomes victim

MOORESVILLE, Ind (WISH) — Mooresville police say they’re getting around two to three reports a week from people who are buying or selling items online. Authorities are hoping to put an end to it with a new service.

For those doing online business, you can not only do your transaction at the police station, but now officers are standing by to be present during the transaction. The service began after police took a report from a teen. He was trying to make some money to take his younger brother somewhere special before school started.

Using his phone, Hunter Thomas eagerly posted his old game system for sale online. A trip to Holiday World was within reach.

“We were looking to make some money for some vacation and I put my Play Station and all the games and controllers on this app called letgo,” Thomas said.

For $250, Thomas immediately had a buyer. They communicated online. The buyer agreed to pick it up. The next day, Thomas went to deposit the cash into his bank account.

“The bank told me…they all kind of got in a group and looked at the money for a minute and I was just kind of sitting there and they kept looking back at me. I felt really awkward,” said Thomas.

The money was counterfeit. Thomas filed a report. His case is what prompted a sign outside the Mooresville Police Department encouraging people to call police to help with online purchases.

“If you feel uncomfortable and you want an officer present, just dial the number, press zero and talk to a dispatcher. Tell them that you have a transaction. The dispatcher will have an officer come in, if there’s not already one at the station,” explained Chief Richard Allen.

Officers will also check cash to make sure it’s not counterfeit and look up serial numbers to determine if electronics are stolen.

“We hope to be a deterrent of course, and we hope maybe, we might apprehend some person for bringing some illegal material or something that is stolen,” said Chief Allen.

And although the service comes too late for Thomas, he’s still looking on the bright side.

“I guess everything will work out. God’s got a plan for everything,” he said.

Following the incident, Thomas said the trip to Holiday World wasn’t going to happen because he just didn’t have the money. However, in a happy update, Holiday World heard about Thomas’ story and is giving him four passes to the park, free of charge.

The case remains under investigation. If you have any information that could help in this case, contact the Mooresville Police Department at 317-831-3434.