The PS5 went on sale last week, and as expected, it was extremely difficult to buy one if you hadn’t already pre-ordered. If you didn’t, retail stock was depleted quickly, leaving the only avenue to next-gen ownership in the hands of scalpers. Those same scalpers are sometimes charging more than double the price for a PS5, which is sure to angry any self-respecting gamer.
One or more of those gamers in Toronto, Canada apparently got angry enough to actually start robbing scalpers. According to the Toronto Police, “numerous reports of robberies” have been received by the department from people “selling game systems online.”
A public safety alert was issued last night at 9 PM EST for the City of Toronto. Although police didn’t mention which game systems were being sold, both the Xbox Series X and PS5 were just released recently, and I can’t imagine anyone holding someone up to get an Xbox One they could just as easily grab from the nearest Walmart.
A spokesperson speaking to Global News said that detectives believe it is the same person/people perpetrating the robberies in and around the Yorkdale Mall area. Toronto PD suggests that anyone trying to sell a game console online ask to meet the buyer in a public space, only bring the agreed amount of cash, do the transaction during daylight hours, and to bring a friend. Some of the robberies are being made at weapon-point, but police declined to say what sort of weapon.
As much as this might seem like scalpers are receiving their just rewards by getting robbed, this isn’t really a Robin Hood scenario. Scalping is bad, but the answer to scalping is not to set up a false sale and then rob scalpers under threat of physical harm. Both make you a bad dude, but only one is an actual crime.
One person on ResetEra says that they know one of the people who were robbed and notes they weren’t scalping but selling a PS5 at cost. Take that as you will.
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