Sheriff's Office warns locals about recent Craigslist robberies

By  | 

Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The Richmond County Sheriff's Office wants people to be careful when buying things off sites like Craigslist, especially since they've seen at least three robbery cases since January.

"I went to meet him at the arranged time and something just didn't feel right."

That man is a buyer turned victim, and requested to stay anonymous.
He spotted a television on Craigslist for $150 and wanted to buy it for his kids.

He talked to the seller on the phone and set up a place and time to meet.

Once he showed up, he sat in his car waiting and waiting and wasn't expecting what happened next.

"Before I could get out good he pulled a gun out on me demanded all of my money and my keys and he just took off running," the victim said.

This wasn't the first time he had bought off Craigslist and says he let his guard down.

"I've met people on there and purchased Christmas toys, iPods, and phones and never had a problem before," he said.

This is just one of three separate Craigslist robberies in Augusta, and they've all happened on B Street.

Sgt. Shane McDaniel said, "We see this trend happening, armed robberies in the same area so we're doing our part but we obviously want to educate the public."

If you are buying off Craigslist, here's some things you can do to protect yourself:
- Get a name
- Talk to them on the phone
- Set up a meeting time in the daylight and in a public place
- Bring someone with you
- Don't follow the seller to a second location

More than 60 million people use Craigslist a month, to find deals on TV's,washers or dryers. One tell tale warning sign is someone who only post an email and not a phone number, and a lot of times if it sounds too good to be true it may be.

"A 60 inch brand new flat screen TV and they're going to sell it to you for 100 dollars to me that's a red flag," Sgt. McDaniel said.

The victim said he's just thankful things didn't turn out differently.

"Luckily, I didn't die from it and I'm able to still be here with my family," he said.

The suspect is still on the loose and the case is still under investigation.