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Hartford teen pleads guilty to Craigslist, Offer-Up robberies

HARTFORD — Local and federal law enforcement officials said they’ve put the teen responsible for a number of robberies and firearms incidents that victimized people who wanted to sell phones on apps and sites like Craigslist behind bars.

Officials said Isaiah Halliday, 19, of Hartford, pleaded guilty Monday to robbery and firearm offenses related to a scheme that victimized several individuals who sought to purchase items over mobile classifieds web apps.

They said, “Between September and November 2017, more than a dozen robberies occurred in Hartford during which individuals lured would-be customers with real or nonexistent items posted to mobile classifieds web apps, such as Offer Up, Letgo and Craigslist, through the use of a fake account.  Upon arrival, the customers were robbed of money and cell phones.  In all of the robberies, assailants brandished what victims described to be a firearm.”

Officials said that on On November 11, 2017, police officers responded to a location on Blue Hills Avenue in Hartford for a man with a gunshot wound to his arm. The man said that he had traveled to Mansfield Street in Hartford to meet with someone he contacted on Offer Up to purchase an iPhone.  When he got there, Halliday  came up to the front passenger door of his vehicle and pointed a black handgun at him.  After the victim attempted to drive away, Halliday fired one round at him, hitting him in the right forearm.

Hartford police said,

Yesterday’s “guilty” plea from Isaiah Halliday marks the closure of hundreds of hours of tremendous investigations. Everybody worked on these cases-from patrol officers, MCD detectives, CSD, C4, and leading all the way up to our partners with the ATF.  From September 2017, more than a dozen robberies occurred in Hartford during which individuals lured would-be customers with real or nonexistent items posted to mobile classifieds web apps, such as Offer Up, Letgo and Craigslist, through the use of a fake account.  Upon arrival, the customers were robbed of money and cell phones. On several incidents, shots were fired. On one occasion, a victim was struck by gunfire during the robbery. As time went on, the robberies became more brazen, and progressively more violent. There are many co-conspirators involved in this case, and it’s encouraging to see our federal partners taking such an interest in their prosecution.

Halliday pleaded guilty to one count of interference with commerce by robbery, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and one count of use of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, an offense that carries a consecutive term of imprisonment of 10 years to life.

In pleading guilty, Halliday admitted that he and several associates were involved in other similar armed robberies and attempted robberies between September and November 2017.

Halliday has been detained since his arrest on November 17, 2017.

Sentencing for August 7.

The Hartford Police want to remind the public that the front parking lot to the Public Safety Complex at 253 High Street can be utilized as a safe meeting location for internet transactions.

Police offer the following tips to stay safe when conducting business online:

  • Insist to meet at a very public place such as the Hartford Police Department.
  • Don’t go alone.
  • Trust your instincts.
  • Do not meet in a secluded area.
  • Do not invite strangers into your home, and do not go to theirs.
  • Be cautious when buying/selling high value items.
  • Perform the transaction during daylight hours.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it normally is.
  • Tell a friend or family member about your intentions.
  • Meet in location where video surveillance is likely (or bring your own)
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