by: Tony Thomas Updated:
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - The Facebook page reportedly at the center of a series of crimes around Gwinnett County is making some security changes.
Gwinnett County police say no one directly involved with the site Gwinnett Sneakerhead was responsible for the crimes, but detectives believe a ring of thieves posing as members of the site found and contacted their members through the page.
One of the administrators of Gwinnett Sneakerhead says the page is now not viewable by the public as administrators try to limit the number of new members. The page has more than 3,300 members and Wesley Juhn says he gets some 200 requests a day. That made it near impossible for any real screening, he says, to tell if the new members were who they claimed they were.
"I didn't know them, but when we found out, they were kicked out, obviously," Juhn says from his parents' home in Suwanee. The teenager's room is full of high-priced sneakers he buys, trades, and sells on the site. He says he's never had any trouble with criminals during his exchanges.
yet. Hopefully never," he says.
Juhn says some of the most in-demand sneakers can go for as hi as $4,000; others for just $200 or so.
"I usually meet people in public areas only, like inside the mall where nothing can really happen," Juhn says.
But police say not everyone was doing that.
In November and December Gwinnett County Police say at least four unsuspecting sellers met buyers either in the parking lots of stores or in apartment complexes. Police say a group of men used the meets to pull guns and steal the shoes. Four people are in jail and detectives say since then the series of crimes have stopped.
"I had a bunch of people complaining about how we should be more protective," says Juhn.
So now, he said, the Facebook page has gone into hiding so to speak as administrators warn members about taking more precautions about when and how they arrange potential deals.
"I feel like people aren't making their safety precautions like they should be doing, that's why these accidents happen,"
says Juhn. "There's not much we can do except kick out suspicious people. It's all up to the people buying and selling shoes."