DALLAS - 7/3/19 UPDATE: Police say Ashton Moore has turned himself in.
Police are always warning the public that you should never meet folks to sell or buy something set up on social media anywhere but at a local police station.
This week's Trackdown is a lesson and warning in what can happen if you do.
Dallas detectives say 19-year-old Ashton Moore is running a decades-old con game.
Police say he is a serial robber, having taken almost 50 people for their electronic devices.
The weapon he uses is Facebook Messenger, and his victims are from Facebook Marketplace.
People who need cash are offering to sell iPhones or MacBooks
Moore is approaching people not from Dallas or Oak Cliff, but looking for folks who might not be up on what's going down.
A con game to steal their stuff and leave them with a bag of what they think is cash.
"They're just, for whatever reason, normal, everyday folks wanting the extra cash, and then they get duped out of it," said Det. Bret Early.
Early said there have been dozens who've driven to the 1900 block of North Agentia in Oak Cliff, where deals have gone south in a hurry. Thefts of iPhones and Macbooks in particular.
"Social media, Facebook Marketplace in particular," he added. "As many as 20 down here in Oak Cliff, as far back as April, and then last year, he was looking at around 25 in the north central division."
Police say Moore has a couple of social media names.
"He goes by the name of Ashton Money, Ashton Make Cash. It's Ashton Moore is his real name," Early said. "It's a game to him. He uses a different profile of a Keisha Jackson on Facebook, and he sets up deals through the Facebook Messenger application."
Either using a woman named Keisha Jackson's Facebook, or posing as her, Moore reaches out to people looking to sell iPhones or MacBooks, and he primarily targets white or Hispanic males or females not from the city of Dallas.
Messaging them that he has no transportation and will pay more if they come to his location, the 1900 block of Argentia Dr. in Oak Cliff.
"Lot of times, they expressed that they were kind of uneasy and didn't feel good about it, but they did it because of the money, and it's a large sum of money, and it's fast money," Det. Early added.
After setting up the meeting with who they believe is Keisha Jackson, Ashton comes out and tells them that he's her brother or he's her boyfriend and that she is not available, and he has come to buy the item.
"They show him the device. It is what they say that they are selling. Ashton will show them money in the envelope, the agreed to amount. At some point, he switches the envelope. He'll leave it on the hood or the dash and say I need to go check it. They'll say okay, and at that point, he never comes back," Det. Early said.
The seller is then blocked on Facebook by the buyer at that point.
Moore is seen on Facebook with weapons, though he hasn't used them. Det. Early hopes to get him before he does.
"This guy's very smart. He's gotten away with it a number of times, but we're trying stop that and get him in custody," Det. Early said.
Detective Early knows who his conman is, but not where he is.
If you know where Ashton Moore may be, call Det. Bret Early at 214-671-0523 or text him at 214-701-1734.
Help catch this serial robber all over Facebook, but still at-large.