Thieves use Craigslist to steal items - WFLA News Channel 8

Thieves use Craigslist to steal items

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Austin Hall Austin Hall
BRANDON FL (WFLA) -

Buying and selling paint ball guns on Craigslist, is something Kaleb Williams has done before, without a hitch. So when someone contacted him about a paint ball gun, selling for 14 hundred dollars, he got excited.

Williams says the original plan was to meet at the Brandon Mall during the day to conduct the sale. But he says the buyer had a different idea to meet at The Retreat apartment complex, at night. He says that's where the crime went down.

"We started to walk towards the inner part of the apartment complex. And the next thing you know he's jumping over a fence and running so I chase after him, there was somebody actually at the front of the neighborhood waiting in a car for him," said Williams.

It's happened several times in the Brandon area in recent months. Crooks find a seller on Craigslist then snatch the item and bolt. Expensive cell phones are a common target.

"I've got cases where, well we discussed price, and he wanted to give me less money, they're going to ATM's. They're withdrawing money. So now they're not only out their cell phone, they're out more money from the ATM," said Detective Theresa Newman.

She offers some ideas to keep selling safe.

*Conduct the transaction in a well-populated place, not in a mall parking lot.

*Never meet someone at night.

*And bring someone along.

Unbelievably, Williams got his paint ball gun back. Detectives say 17-year -old Austin Hall took it, sold it to someone else, and it ended up for sale in Pennsylvania.

Williams is swearing off Craigslist. "Personally, I'm not going back selling stuff on Craigslist. Just cuz I've been the victim, and I didn't think I would be a victim," he said.

Cops fear the sale that turns into a snatch, could eventually turn violent.

 

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