Buyers looking for a good deal through Craigslist this holiday season may want to take some extra precaution after two men were robbed of $5,000 at gunpoint in Skokie on Nov. 8. The victims met the suspect through a local ad on Craigslist.
The two men told police they were supposed to buy 10 Apple iPhone 5s, but were robbed after meeting the suspect, who went by the alias "Tyrone," police said.
The three met in the 9100 block of Ewing Avenue and shook hands.
However, the deal went south when the suspect pulled out a black semi-automatic pistol and said, “you have five seconds to give me the cash or I will shoot you,” the report stated. The suspect then took $5,000 in cash from the victims and fled the scene.
The men told police that they were going to sell the phones on eBay for a profit of about $150 per phone. The suspect was described as a black male, about 27 to 37 years of age, 5-foot-6 and weighing around 160 to 210 pounds, the report stated.
No arrests have been made at this time, but police are investigating.
Recent Craigslist scam
In February, police responded to a battery complaint in the 4000 block of Oakton Street on Feb. 21. According to the report, the man purchased a used Honda for $6,000 through an ad on Craigslist. While the odometer said the car had 97,000 miles, the title stated it had more than 160,000, the report said.
This upset the buyer and a scuffle between the two ensued, police said. No charges were filed.
Some tips from the Skokie Police Department
- Do not invite strangers into your home.
- Insist on a public meeting place, such as a restaurant or coffee shop.
- Do not meet in a secluded place.
- Be especially careful when buying or selling high value items.
- Tell a friend or family member where you are going.
- Consider having a friend accompany you.
- And most importantly, trust your gut instinct. If a situation seems uncomfortable or “too good to be true,” then it probably is.