In light of a recent incident involving a Craigslist transaction gone awry, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is warning the public to be cautious when buying or selling items online.
Last month, officials say a Craigslist ad for a cell phone lured a male victim to the 10400 block of Reserve Drive in 4S Ranch. The victim planned to meet with a seller to supposedly purchase a cell phone.
Two sellers and the victim gathered at a meeting place just before 6 p.m. There, deputies say one of the sellers pulled out a gun and demanded money from the victim before fleeing the scene.
The victim ran to the 4S Ranch Sheriff’s Substation and reported the incident.
Ultimately, an investigation led detectives to the robbery suspects – Notriga Mandegar, 19, and David Belcher, 18. Both suspects were booked into custody in connection with the Craigslist case. Belcher is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.
Officials say this case should serve as a warning to people buying and selling goods on Craigslist or other advertising websites.
Officials say those conducting online transactions should set up appointments during the day at a public meeting place, and consider bringing along a friend. Also, one should never meet a potential buyer or seller while carrying large amounts of cash.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is – you are better off passing it up,” said a message released by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. “Trust your gut – always follow your instincts. If anything seems suspicious, out of place or doesn't feel right; if someone makes you feel uncomfortable, just leave.”