Craigslist robbery: Man posts ad, "buyer" robs him

By Matt Butner - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond police are investigating a Craigslist deal that turned into a robbery. A man went to meet what he thought was a potential buyer for his iPhone. Police say what happened next should serve as a warning about meetings arranged online.

It started as an ad on Craigslist, the popular online marketplace. A 20 year old man wanted to sell or trade his iPhone. He got a response that led him to the Kingswood Cove Apartments in south Richmond Monday evening.

The victim told police he was waiting in his car for a 6 o'clock meeting with a potential buyer. That's when, he says, he was blind-sided.

A man walked up to the car, indicating that he had a gun. He hit the victim in the head three times, and took off with the phone. Police say the arranged meeting was flawed from the beginning.

"Criminals are going to do crime where they feel safe- where the lighting is not great, where they can make a quick getaway- so you need to take that out of the equation," said Commander Scott Booth with Richmond police.

Any time you arrange to meet someone you don't know, you're taking a risk. You can minimize that risk by picking the right location.

"Make sure you're in a public place, where there are other people around," Booth said, "so if you need help you can easily get it."

While the victim in Monday's robbery was not seriously hurt, police say it was a dangerous situation that could have been avoided. The bottom line is if you don't feel comfortable with what's happening, you should call it off.

"Sometimes those hairs on the back of your neck will come up, and you know something's not right," said Booth. "You need to act on that instinct and just get out of the area, call the police so we can take some action."

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