While millions of people browse Craigslist looking for a deal, Plymouth police say thieves there were scoping the site for items to steal.
Police are investigating two cases, one on Aug. 24 and the other on Aug. 29, which started as possible Craigslist sales transactions and ended in robberies.
Both times, the buyer and seller agreed to meet in a shopping center parking lot near Highway 55 and Vicksburg Lane. One meeting was set up for about 11 p.m. The other took place just after one in the morning.
"In both cases the suspect was given the laptop or the iPad and looked at it, like any good buyer would want to see what they’re buying," says Plymouth Police Capt. Craig Lindman. "As soon as the suspect had the item in their hand they took off running."
Police say neither victim lives in Plymouth. Investigators are not sure if it's the same suspect in each case. They say that the fact that both crimes happened in Plymouth could mean the thief or thieves live nearby.
Plymouth police tell sellers or buyers to look out for red flags. For example, if you get an email, text or a call telling you to hurry up to meet someone, that person may be up to no good. No matter what the situation, whether you buy or sell on Craigslist, police say you should call the shots on the meeting spot. Pick a place where there are lots of people, like a restaurant or a mall.
"Hopefully they meet them in a public place at a reasonable hour," says Capt. Lindman. "Even though a parking lot in a business area is public, at 11 at night, one in the morning, it’s fairly desolate."
September 6, 2012