Many of us have heard of craigslist. It’s a site where people can buy or sell different things by posting a message online. They get contacted, either by email or phone, by the person who wants to buy it.
For one Michiana man, the simple task of buying a scooter for his son turned into a dangerous one.
“I talked to a gentleman on there that gave me his name, so on, told me, yes, he had it and it was listed over in Mishawaka in River Park area,” says the victim.
This man, who wanted to remain anonymous, went to the Courtyard Place Apartments in South Bend to buy his son a scooter.
“He came walking up to me, within 15 or 20 feet of me and said, you know, ‘ya, hey, I’m Jason, I got the scooter’,” explains the victim, “I took off following, going to what I thought was the right apartment to look at this scooter . When we passed two other young black guys that passed me and after they walked past I heard a little something behind me. I glanced out the corner of my eye and saw that they were following me. Two of them were behind me and came around to my side and in front of me, stuck a gun to my head and told me they wanted my money”.
The man with the gun took the money out of the victim's pocket and all three ran off. The thieves got $200 but it wasn't the cash that upset the victim. It was the money clip they got as well.
“It was a Harley Davidson clip that I got years ago from one of my sons…I had that clip for probably 15 years. I have carried it every day and it meant something to me,” explains the victim.
The victim called police and went back to his family who did some research. They found multiple ads for the same scooter on craigslist with different numbers. They even found a scam warning.
South Bend Police Captain Phil Trent says similar crimes are becoming an epidemic.
“The name of the game here is prevention. You know I am certainly; you and I aren’t talking to suspects today. You and I are basically talking to potential victims or victims and don't be one,” says Captain Trent.
The victim says all three suspects were black and in their late 20's. If you know anything, have had contact with the men through the ad, or saw this happen contact crime stoppers at 288-STOP. The call, as always, will remain anonymous.