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Police investigating string of Craigslist robberies in Chesterfield

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. – Over the last several weeks Chesterfield County Police say they have received multiple reports of victims being robbed during Craigslist transactions.

Police say since Dec. 21, 2016, four victims say they were robbed by a stranger selling or purchasing items that had been listed for sale online.

The robberies occurred:

  • 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016, in the 4900 block of Cogbill Road
  • 2:10 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016, in the 2300 block of Willis Road
  • 1:10 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, in the 1800 block of Meadow Park Drive
  • 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in the 5000 block of Wiltstaff Place

robbery-map

Investigators say in two of the robberies the suspect displayed handguns. No one was injured in any of the incidents. They did not say if they believe the robberies are related.

Police is warning residents, if you are encouraged to make an exchange in a neighborhood or at a dark and secluded location, do not make the transaction.

“The police department is reminding residents to complete these transactions in well lit, public places where other people will be present,” Chesterfield Police said in a Facebook post.

“Some criminals are pretty bold," said law enforcement expert Steve Neal. "Some of the things that they do are sometimes nonsensical. But if you flip it around and look at it from the other way--a lot of times people just aren't paying attention to their surroundings. So let's harden the target and let's not make it so easy for them.”

The Chesterfield Sheriff's Office recently created a "safe exchange zone" outside the county’s courthouse where online buyers and sellers can meet.

Chesterfield Craigslist Safe Zone

Chesterfield Craigslist Safe Zone

There is also video surveillance for extra protection.

Local law enforcement agencies like the Petersburg Sheriff's Office and Richmond Police also have safe exchange zones for online buyers and sellers.

If you have information about any of these incidents, call Chesterfield County Police at 804-748-1251 or Chesterfield County/Colonial Heights Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660.