Monday, July 11, 2011
Craigslist can be a very effective way to buy and sell goods or services, but police are warning today that it has its pitfalls, as well. A Wichita man found that out the hard way when he agreed to meet a man he met on Craigslist to sell an expensive piece of electronic equipment.
The item was an iPad... Obviously, an expensive, high-demand item. When the seller agreed to meet the potential buyer at 13th and Oliver in Wichita over the weekend, things went very wrong very fast.
the two agreed to meet in a parking lot, but the buyer had no intention of paying for the iPad. Instead, he dropped it on the ground and held the seller at knife point. At that point, police say two other men drove up to help. They drove off and stole the iPad. Police admit that you can make yourself an easier target in this way.
"It's not to discourage people from selling anything on Craigslist," said Wichita Police Lieutenant Doug Nolte. "It's just that you have to be recognizing in this day and age that who you may be talking to on the other end of the line may or may not have proper intentions."
But many people know the good side of Craigslist, often using it to sell things like old baby toys and outgrown children's clothing for cheaper than new prices. It provides sellers an opportunity to allow someone else to use their items and the buyer to get a cheaper-than-new price for good stuff.
"That stuff just fills our house," said Craigslist user Brian Hay. "It's easy to just take a picture of it and upload it to my computer and then I get on Craigslist and upload the photo."
Hay has used his own home as a meeting place before, but he never publicizes too much personal information on the actual website listing.
"I actually always put my phone number on every post I do," Hay explained. "I always hide my email address and put my name and number on there so they have to contact me personally through my phone and not just through email."
Police tell us that's good advice and say you can never be too cautious.
"You take a risk anytime that you go meet someone," said Lt. Nolte. "Obviously, we don't know what everyone's intentions are, but this is the second robbery in the last few months of someone that had made arrangements on Craigslist."
Back in May, another man was robbed of four iPhones that he was trying to sell on Craigslist. He also met the buyer in a very public parking lot at 29th and Rock Rd. in Wichita, but was taken advantage of by the thief. At this point, police don't have any information that leads them to believe the two cases are related.