In the wake of two Internet sales gone bad, local police are warning online shoppers to be wary when arranging Craigslist transactions.
Investigators from the Chicago Police Department's 19th District sent an alert around 2 p.m. Wednesday regarding two armed robberies—one in Lake View and one in Lincoln Park—in which sellers came prepared to exchange their iPhones for cash.
"The sellers and buyers meet at a pre-arranged location and the victims are then held up at gunpoint and robbed of their phones and wallets ..." the alert says.
The first reported incident was on the afternoon of Jan. 16 in the 600 block of West Surf Street. That day a 46-year-old woman called the cops after a man who contacted her via Craigslist to buy her iPhone 4s reportedly robbed her. The woman said she agreed to meet the buyer to complete the transaction.
She parked her car in a nearby alley around 3 p.m., according to the report, and the offender got into her vehicle wearing gloves. He displayed a small semi-automatic pistol and demanded her phone and money, the report said.
The second incident occurred in the 2400 block of North Ashland Avenue in Lincoln Park, near the intersection with Fullerton Avenue. That armed robbery occurred around 10:45 p.m. and police say the same culprits are responsible.
They're described as black men who are between 18 and 25 years old. They stand around 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, police said, and may be driving a black four-door sedan, such as an Infinity.
Police urge residents to be cautious to conduct online transactions; call 911 immediately to describe the offenders; be prepared to give license plate numbers and full descriptions; and contact authorities if you're able to identify those in the attached photos.
Anyone with information is asked to call the bureau of detectives at 312-744-8263.