Residents have been urged to show caution after robbery incidents following Facebook Marketplace sales.

A police probe has been launched after a Facebook Marketplace sale meet-up saw a victim threatened at knifepoint in what was one of two incidents in Colchester.

Officers said they received reports of two robberies which took place in the city following electronic items being offered for sale on Facebook Marketplace. 

In both instances, a buyer made contact with the seller and arrived at the agreed location to pay for the item, which included laptops and phones, and purported to make a bank transfer on his phone, which did not go through. 

In one incident, the suspect pushed the victim and took the item.

In the second, police say the suspect threatened a victim with a knife. 

Following the incidents, Colchester Council leader David King urged caution and insisted residents with concerns should contact the force.

He said: “Any crime is distressing, but it is good to hear of police action and arrests.

"The great majority of transactions are completed without issue but I urge due caution by all and for any with concerns not to proceed and to contact the police."

In both instances, no injuries were sustained, but police have said both victims were left “shaken”. 

Following the incidents being reported, a 41-year-old man from West Bergholt was questioned on suspicion of two counts of robbery and was released on bail whilst our enquiries continue. 

However, police said they believe more incidents may have taken place and are urging anyone with information to come forward.

A spokesman for the police added: “We’re aware similar incidents may have taken place in the Colchester area which, at this stage, have not been reported and we would encourage anyone affected to please come forward and speak to us.”

Reports can be made on Essex Police’s website, or by using its online Live Chat service.

Alternatively, you can call 101 or make an anonymous report through Crimestoppers.

All reports should cite crime references 42/46135/24 and 42/71179/24.