A group of four teenage boys are facing a total of 24 charges related to a series of robberies over a two-week span that happened at what were supposed to be meetings for private sales set up on online marketplace platforms.
Regina police believe the four boys, who are aged 14 to 17 and therefore cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, would arrange to buy items that were offered for sale online, then rob the seller during the meeting instead.
In the first instance, on Oct. 24, two of the boys pointed what looked like a gun at the seller and stole a cellphone, police said.
A week later, two of the boys allegedly robbed a pair of people of a Playstation 5, assaulting them both and threatening them with what police said looked to be a can of bear spray.
Both were on the 100 block of Brotherton Avenue in the east end of Regina, just south of Dewdney Avenue E.
On Tuesday, another two people reported being bear sprayed and robbed of a Louis Vuitton belt by teenagers matching descriptions from the last two robberies.
Later that day, police responded to a woman who said she was selling a Playstation 5 and was assaulted by two boys as they tried to pry the gaming system from her hands. She yelled for help and the alleged assailants fled with part of the system.
Police said they identified the suspects and arrested three of the boys during a traffic stop on Wednesday. They allegedly found two backpacks with canisters of bear spray inside the vehicle.
One of the accused is charged with robbery and use of an imitation firearm in the commission of an offence.
The second is charged with four counts of robbery, three counts of wearing a disguise with intent, two counts of assault with a weapon, use of an imitation firearm in the commission of an offence, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a weapon dangerous to public peace.
The third is charged with robbery and wearing disguise with intent.
The fourth is charged with three counts of robbery, two counts of wearing disguise with intent, two counts of assault with a weapon, and possession of a weapon dangerous to public peace.
All four accused were in court on Thursday.