A man has been sentenced to five years in prison after admitting five counts of robbery and three counts of theft which targeted victims in Bulwell through the internet selling site Gumtree.
Darnell Miller, of Stockhill Circus, Basford, was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court after he pleaded guilty.
In each case, the 20-year-old approached his victims through the website under the guise of wanting to purchase high-end smartphones that the victims had advertised for sale online.
Miller pleaded guilty to the offences, which relate to incidents reported to police between Thursday 26 February and Saturday 16 May 2015 in the Basford and Bulwell areas.
Miller arranged to meet his victims in areas he knew well before snatching the phones, which included Samsung Galaxy and Apple iPhones.
A 42-year old man received hospital treatment after he was punched to the head during one incident.
Officers launched an appeal on Facebook, Twitter and through the local media to trace Miller, who handed himself in to officers shortly afterwards.
PC Stephanie Clough from Nottinghamshire Police, who led the investigation, said: “Online selling sites like Gumtree are becoming so popular for people wanting to buy and sell their unwanted items online.
“While thankfully this kind of offence is rare, it is so important that people remain vigilant to avoid people like Miller using these sites to target their victims and commit their crimes.
“That said, this case has shown the real power of the internet for doing good and we’d like to thank the public for sharing our appeals on social media which we have no doubt has led to Miller handing himself in to police.”