Teacher tells of moment he was mugged at knifepoint for more than £600 by two masked thugs who lured him to house by claiming to be selling PlayStation 5
- Mark Lee, 22, who works in Banbury, Oxfordshire, was mugged for around £600
- He went to Birmingham to collect what he thought was a PlayStation 5 for £625
- When he arrived at the location given to him, two men pulled knives on him
A teacher has revealed how he was mugged at knifepoint for more than £600 by two thugs claiming to be selling a PlayStation 5.
Mark Lee, 22, who works in Banbury, Oxfordshire, thought he’d found a bargain when he found someone selling a PlayStation 5 on Facebook Marketplace for £625.
The seller insisted that Mark pay for the games console in cash and gave the teacher a specific address to collect it from.
When Mark approached the address he was confronted by two thugs wearing hoods in an alleyway who pulled knives out on him and threatened to stab him if he didn’t give them the cash.
Teacher Mark Lee, 22, (left) who works in Banbury, Oxfordshire, was mugged on New Year’s Eve for £625 by two men he believed were selling him a PlayStation 5. Pictured: Mark with his girlfriend Alicja Humeniuk
Mark went to the given address near Smethwick, West Birmingham, on New Year’s Eve but ended up handing over his wallet and fleeing the area.
Mark said: ‘I had been so excited to pick up that PlayStation 5, I expected to go home with it and be able to spend the night playing games with my friends.
‘But instead, these two men approached me as I was walking along an alleyway and brought out these huge knives – and I immediately felt dread.
‘I was terrified and in complete shock – I just gave them my whole wallet and sprinted in the opposite direction.
‘I knew there were scammers out there, but I had no idea how serious and violent they could get – these men were threatening to kill me.
‘I was gutted after it happened because I also lost all the money I had saved up – but nothing is worth more than your life.’
Music teacher Mark Lee first reached out to a Facebook user selling a PlayStation 5 on 30th December after scouring the internet for one of the rare consoles.
He jumped at the chance when he saw one on sale for £625 on Facebook Marketplace – and didn’t question it when the seller told him to come and pick it up on 31st December.
Mark believed he had found a bargain on the Facebook marketplace when he saw an advertisement for the games console
A Facebook account called ‘Hamza Khan’ asked Mark to pay for the PlayStation 5 in cash and gave him a specific address to go to to collect it
The seller, who was using a Facebook account called ‘Hamza Khan’ to advertise the console, instructed Mark to meet him at 5pm on 31st December with the £625 cash payment.
Mark, who had been staying at a friend’s house in Birmingham, said: ‘I was so excited to pick up the console.
‘I secured my first job as a teacher in September, so I wanted to reward myself.
‘The seller seemed completely normal while I was talking to him over messages – I certainly wasn’t expecting to be threatened with a knife when I went to meet him.’
But Mark was horrified when was walking down a nearby alleyway as he approached the address, and found himself being followed by two young men.
Pictured: Mark shows the alleged PlayStation seller a picture of the cash he took out in order to pay for the console
When Mark arrived at the address near Smethwick, west Birmingham, he texted the seller to let him know he had arrived. As he approached the exact location he turned down an alleyway and was followed by two hooded men who then pulled knives out on him
After confirming his name, he said both men, who were wearing dark tracksuits, drew out ‘long matte black serrated blades’ – which they threatened to kill him with, if he didn’t hand over the £625 cash.
He said: ‘My immediate feeling was one of total dread and fear.
‘When they held these huge knives to my chest, I could hardly process what was going on, I clammed up and fumbled around.
‘It must have taken me around a minute to get hold of my wallet because I was panicking so much, I genuinely thought they would kill me.’
After handing his wallet over to the two men, Mark said he ran in the opposite direction before contacting West Midlands Police, who have since been investigating.
Mark finally returned home safely later that evening, where he said his worried girlfriend, Alicja Humeniuk, 24, was waiting for him with a cup of tea.
He said: ‘I can’t quite believe what happened – I had no idea someone would go to the extent of threatening to kill someone as part of a scam.
‘I’m glad just I gave them the money and ran.
‘I remember thinking to myself, ‘You can’t mess around with these people.’
‘I would have loved the PlayStation, but at the end of the day, nothing is worth your life.’
A West Midlands Police spokesman said: ‘We’ve launched an investigation after a man was robbed of a significant amount of cash having arranged online to meet someone to buy a games console.
‘The man was instructed to go to Avery Avenue, Birmingham, and while walking down a cut through he was approached by two Asian males who threatened him with a knife and stole the cash.
‘A police dog and handler was sent to the scene to track for any scent and local searches conducted. Detectives are trawling CCTV in the hope of identifying the offenders.’
Police have asked anyone with information to contact them on their Live Chat service on their website, or contact them on 101 quoting the crime reference 20BW/327592P/20.
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