A hoverboard purchase using the app OfferUp went sideways in Azle on Christmas Eve.
Melissa Ann Boyer told police she wanted to give the hoverboard to her daughter as a gift, but police say she pulled a gun on the 17-year-old seller instead of paying for it.
Nearly two months after they say she made off with the teen's hoverboard, Parker County authorities have caught up with the 23-year-old Boyer. She eluded Parker County sheriff's deputies until she was arrested Wednesday in Haltom City, according to a news release from Sheriff Larry Fowler.
The 17-year-old and his brother arrived at the agreed-upon meeting place, a parking lot in the 12000 block of South Farm Road 730 near the Parker-Tarrant line, to make the sale on Dec. 24. Boyer got there around 8 p.m., in a gold sedan, with another female passenger.
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Both parties had followed one of the most fundamental rules for those nearly-anonymous transactions on apps like OfferUp: Always bring someone with you and meet in a public place.
After the teen gave the hoverboard to Boyer, he followed her to her car, according to the release. The teen told police that Boyer pulled a gun out of the center console and told him to walk away — and act like she paid him — or she would shoot him.
Boyer and her passenger left the parking lot heading north on Farm Road 730.
Fowler said in the release that an anonymous Crime Stoppers tip led authorities to Boyer at a home in Haltom City. Police arrested her at a building next door.
Boyer was booked into Parker County Jail Wednesday and is being held on $100,000 bail for aggravated robbery, according to jail records.
OfferUp was developed in 2011 and is based in Bellevue, Wash. It serves as a platform for individuals to sell goods to other individuals, competing with Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, among others. It lists among its best practices for selling an item on the platform to communicate with the other party within the app's messaging system.
According to the release, Boyer and the teen communicated outside the app using text messages.
The app also recommends sellers and buyers complete their transaction at public places like cafes or shopping malls, or designated safe exchange spots that are set up and monitored by local law enforcement agencies.
The Weatherford Police Department manages a safe exchange zone, as do many other local agencies, in its south parking lot, at 801 Santa Fe Drive.
In December 2016, a River Oaks man was dragged by a robbery suspects' car in another local incident involving the OfferUp app.
Dallas police issued a warning soon after that incident after "dozens" of people became victims of online trading robberies, according to KXAS. More recently, in December, two brothers robbed and shot a man during an OfferUp exchange, according to Star-Telegram media partner WFAA.
Criminals routinely scout apps like OfferUp that offer the opportunity to meet someone who has something valuable in their possession.