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Craigslist ripoffs get violent; ways to stay saf

Posted at 6:53 PM, Feb 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 13:01:29-05
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Craigslist may be a great way to sell off unwanted stuff but it's also a great way for robbers to rip off your merchandise and your cash.
       
Robbers may respond to your ad, then steal your stuff, or even put up a fake ad so you'll contact them.
        
Now, some police departments are even offering their stations as safer places for buyers and sellers to meet.
 
Jon Sixx has made plenty of pretty good deals through Craigslist.  But one night he got ripped off---really ripped off. He arranged a meeting at this Walgreens to sell a DVD player.  
 
"It was a quick transaction, at least I thought anyway. The car pulls in onto my passenger side a lady walked around to the driver side while I was putting my attention on her a man came through the passenger side door, pulled out the dvd player and ran behind the Walgreens."
        
The shock of the surprise snatch and grab gave the woman time to jump in her car and drive off. He was lucky he just lost some merchandise.  He could have lost his life.
 
In the Indianapolis area, two unrelated Craigslist deals led to four murders.
          
Iraq War veteran James Vester was killed after he answered a Craigslist ad for an iPad he planned to give his parents for Christmas. In another case in the same city, this man was charged with murdering someone trying to sell an iphone, and charged with murdering two witnesses.
 
Crimes like that have prompted some police departments to offer their stations as safe places to meet and make your deals.
           
Tucson Police have not set up formal safe zones, but TPD Sergeant Pete Dugan says it's not a bad idea to use one of their parking lots as a place to make your Craigslist deal---and take precautions where ever you choose to meet.
 
"Bring somebody with you.   Do it in a well populated area or during the daytime.  Definitely don't do any type of deal in your car because nobody can see what's actually see what's going on inside of a vehicle.
 
TPD's Hardesty substation at 22nd and Alvernon is a busy place and even has an emergency call box but police say it's still a good idea to finish any deals at a place like this in the daytime because places like the substations can still get quiet at night.
     
Jon Sixx hopes his experience will help keep Craigslist users safe.  He, and police say just the idea of meeting at a police station is probably enough to drive off a bad guy.
 
"Obviously if they don't want to have nothing to do with the police department it's because something is hot and there's something wrong, they have a warrant for their arrest or they have one intention to try to get what you've got and not have to pay for it."