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Chesterfield man assaulted, robbed during Craigslist transaction

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. – Craigslist may be the place to go for a good deal or to make some fast cash with a quick sale but as this local man knows now, if not done safely, it can put you in danger.

Monday evening just before 7:30, a man looking to buy an iPhone was meeting the seller in a Chesterfield County neighborhood. But instead of getting a good deal, he got robbed at gun point.

Police said that at some point during the transaction he was assaulted by one person while another pulled out a handgun and demanded the money.

“He was talking on the phone, sitting right here about where we are, and he was talking and looking around,” said neighbor Robert Athey, who was shocked this happened in his neighborhood.
“Your personal safety is worth far more than anything you’re purchasing,” says Corporal Mike Catron with the Chesterfield County Police.

Police said one key to safety, is never going to a transaction like that alone.

Steve Ouellette is on the mobile site to Craigslist every day looking and he is often buying and selling.

But when it’s time for the face to face meeting, safety is always most important.

“A lot of times, if I’m going to buy something, especially if it’s a big-ticket item — where I’m going to have a lot of cash on me — I prefer to be somewhere that’s kind of open, big public space, preferably some place that has security cameras,” said Oulette.

Corporal Catron said the seller should always feel comfortable about where they are meeting.

“If you are going to meet with somebody, meet in a public place, meet somewhere where there are other people,” he said. “Meet in an area where there are plenty of witnesses, where there’s good lighting; not in a secluded, dark place or a place un-familiar to you.”






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