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HAMMOND — A 45-year-old man was robbed while trying to sell his iPad using the phone app Letgo, police said. 

The man, of Orland Park, agreed to meet a 16-year-old Hammond boy Thursday afternoon in the 800 block of State Street to sell the iPad, according to Hammond Police Lt. Steven Kellogg.

The victim's mother was also present at the time of the robbery, Kellogg said. 

A Hammond detective patrolling at about 12:45 p.m. in the neighborhood reportedly saw a boy who appeared suspicious and frantic as he went through yards holding what appeared to be an tablet computer, according to Kellogg.  

A few minutes later, police received a call of a robbery just a few blocks away. The victim's mother told police her son showed him the iPad, but the boy grabbed it and fled, police said. 

The 45-year-old Orland Park man chased the suspect for a short time when he fell over. He was transported to the hospital with undisclosed injuries, Kellogg said. 

Through help from the detective who saw the boy running and cooperation from a representative from the Letgo application, police were able to identify the boy as the suspect, Kellogg said.

The boy, whose name is being withheld due to his juvenile status, could face charges, Kellogg said. Formal charges are pending. 

Hammond Police Chief John Doughty said anyone wishing to sell or purchase items online can meet at the police department.

The department has a designated parking lot, clearly marked and under 24/7 surveillance, he said. 

"If the other party refuses to meet at this location, then do not do business with that party, period," Doughty said. "Numerous people use this spot every day and it is the best way to conduct safe transactions. What we want for our citizens and anyone visiting our city, is their safety."

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Northlake County Reporter

Lauren covers North Lake County government, breaking news, crime and environmental issues for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.