NEWPORT NEWS -- Police are trying to find 2 people they believe robbed a 30-year-old at gunpoint and beat him after one of the attackers answered the victim's ad on Craigslist.
Master Police Officer Holly McPherson told 13News Now the victim buys items online and resells them. He was looking for smartphones. Someone, believed to be about 18 years old, contacted him after seeing the victim's listing.
They met at about 5:30 p.m. Monday in the parking lot of Skipper's Mart and Deli, located off Hogan Drive which is off Jefferson Avenue near Oyster Point Road.
The "seller" told the 30-year-old he didn't have the smartphone with him. It supposedly was at his apartment. McPherson said the "seller" claimed to live in a complex near the convenience store and convinced the victim to give him and a friend a lift to the complex.
There, McPherson said the "seller" pulled a gun on the victim. A fight followed, with the friend jumping in and hitting the victim.
"You just have to be aware of, you know, is the situation too good to be true or do you really want this item that bad the you're gonna put your safety at risk," McPherson said.
McPherson said if you are buying or selling items through Craigslist or similar online marketplaces, you should meet in a public area with a lot of traffic.
"The more people that surround you, the better it's gonna be. If you do have to bring somebody to your residence, again, not late in the evening. Make sure you're not the only person at the residence," she offered. "If you bring them into your home, make sure that you have possessions that are of value out of sight, or even personal information."
If you are selling an item, McPherson also said you might want to take cash only. Otherwise, you could become a victim in other ways.
Police said the first person involved in the attack Monday afternoon was a 5'10" black male. He was about 18 years old with a thin build, a medium complexion, and close-cut hair. He wore a black T-shirt with red and white writing on the front, light colored pants, and black shoes.
The description of the second person is of a black male, 5’10” tall. He also was about 18 years old. He had a medium build, a dark complexion, and close-cut hair. He wore a black cap with an orange brim, white short sleeve shirt, and white or gray pants.
Detectives encourage anyone with information about the robbery to call Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.