Teen charged in robbery after sale rendezvous

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GREENFIELD — A Brownsburg teen is in the Hancock County Jail charged with robbery after she allegedly tried to steal a cellphone in what was supposed to be a sale arranged online.

Lauren E. Mann, 18, tried to drive from the exchange point before paying for the phone, court documents state. The victim was injured after being dragged by the car for several feet.

The incident occurred in August.

The victim told police she’d arranged to sell an iPhone X to Mann. The victim had listed the phone on Facebook, Mann inquired about buying, and the pair made arrangements to meet at the victim’s house to make the exchange, court documents state.

The victim said Mann was acting strangely when she arrived to complete the sale. They had a brief discussion, and then the woman tried to pull from the victim’s driveway with the phone without paying for it, court documents state.

The victim said she reached into the car to try and stop her from leaving. She ended up being dragged down the road about 40 feet. She suffered abrasions and other injuries, according to court documents.

Police were called and stopped the vehicle. She had a friend in the car with her at the time of the incident, and he confirmed the victim’s story. The victim said the man played no role in the robbery, court documents state.

Mann refused to speak with officers at the scene. She admitted to having a gun in her car that she wasn’t licensed to carry, court documents state.

Mann was booked into the jail this week and is being held there on a $15,000 cash bond.

She faces one Level 3 felony count of robbery resulting in injury and one Class A misdemeanor of carrying a handgun without a license.

More and more police department have established what are called “safe exchange zone” in their stations to help ensure people stay safe during transactions with strangers through online services.

The Greenfield, Fortville and Cumberland police departments all have established safe exchange zones that are monitored by security cameras 24/7. Local officials urge residents to make hand-offs in these safer areas.

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Authorities recommend personal online transactions be consummated in a “safe exchange zone” that is under surveillance.

Police departments in Greenfield, Cumberland and Fortville have established safe zones.

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