A teenager from Ferndale has been charged in a series of robberies in which he allegedly lured people to an elementary school under the guise that he was selling them an iPhone 5, according to Anne Arundel County Police.
During the past week, several people responded to posts on Craigslist advertising an iPhone 5 for sale, police said. The seller, a juvenile male, would arrange to meet at George Cromwell Elementary School in Ferndale, where the potential buyer was then robbed of money and phones, police said.
The suspect used what the victims often described as a black semi-automatic gun during the robberies, police said.
In one case, the suspect fired the gun, missing the victim but hitting a car mirror with a pellet, police said.
Anne Arundel detectives posed as a buyer and met the suspect at the elementary school Monday night. As police closed in, the suspect ran off, holding the gun. He was arrested with help from a county police helicopter and police dogs. The gun turned out to be a pellet gun "fashioned as a convincing replica of a semi-automatic firearm," police said.
Jacob Patrick Valentine, 17, of 142 Olen Drive in Ferndale, has been charged with a number of offenses, including two counts of robbery, two counts of armed robbery, two counts of attempted theft of less than $1,000, two counts of using a firearm during a felony, two counts of handgun possession, two counts of reckless endangerment, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, malicious destruction of property and disorderly conduct.
Valentine was being held without bail at the Jennifer Road Detention Center in Annapolis on Tuesday morning.
Police believe the teen had set up at least six more appointments through the Craigslist ad. Anyone with information or who may have been a victim may call police at 410-222-6135.