An 18-year-old man who used Gumtree to set up meetings with his unsuspecting victims before robbing them at knifepoint has been jailed for eight years.
Abdullahi Ahmed of Central Avenue, Hayes, pleaded guilty at Harrow Crown Court to five counts of robbery and one count of theft.
He arranged to meet his victims after contacting them on the online marketplace Gumtree, where they were selling various items.
Over a period of three weeks between April 1 and 20, he carried out six offences.
On the first occasion Ahmed and an accomplice as yet unidentified arranged to meet a man in Hounslow on the pretence of buying two pairs of designer shoes.
As the victim was getting the shoes from his car, Ahmed produced a knife and robbed the victim.
He also robbed a women in Bow of her phone and stole a laptop from a man in Hayes, threatening them with a knife on both occasions.
On another occasion, he snatched a phone from a man in Ealing and then called him to gloat that he had stolen his phone.
"Ahmed used threats of violence to intimidate and rob his victims of their property," said DC Huss Ahmed of Barnet CID, who led the investigation.
"His actions have had a devastating impact on some of his victims. I can only hope that this sentence provides some comfort to them."
In a statement to ITV News, a Gumtree spokesperson said: “We take the safety of our users extremely seriously and we are pleased to see the perpetrator of these appalling crimes brought to justice.
"Our dedicated Safety Team works closely with the police to share information and support their investigations.
"We list prominent safety advice for users on every ad on our website, a summary of which can be found at help.gumtree.com.”