By Miriam Raftery
August 22, 2013 (San Diego) -- San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore has issued a warning to the public to be careful when buying or selling items on Craigslist--and is offering tips on how to stay safe.
Numerous crimes in our region have been linked to Craigslist, including robberies, assaults and murders.
Most recently, on July 29, a man who answered a Craigslist ad for a cell phone was accosted at gunpoint by two suspects demanding money in the 4S Ranch area. The victim fled to a nearby Sheriff’s substation and the suspects were arrested.
In 2011, San Diego Police arrested a suspect for a series of robberies of people who responded to Craigslist ads for iPADs. A La Mesa man was robbed and assaulted when he agreed to go to a local park to meet a seller advertising computers for sale on Craiglist.
Also in 2011, a convicted sex offender confessed to drugging and killing San Diego State University freshman Donna Jou after meeting her on Craigslist, where she advertised tutoring services. . In addition, a teenager attempting to purchase an item offered for sale legally on Craigslist was shot and killed in a San Diego neighborhood.
The Sheriff offers these tips for buying or selling items on Craigslist:
Set up the appointment during the day. Insist on a public meeting place, since criminals don’t want witnesses. Don’t go alone – bring a friend. Tell another friend or family member where you are going.
Bring your cell phone to call 911 if necessary.
Don’t carry a large amount of cash.
Don’t buy from a seller who only lists an email address. This is a red flag that the seller has something to hide.
Never go to a second location – if you arrived at a meeting place and the seller asks to go to
another place, this should raise some serious red flags
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is – you are better off passing it up.
Trust your instincts. If anything seems suspicious, out of place or just doesn't feel right, leave.