Beware of Craig’s List purchasing

Published 7:00 am Thursday, July 10, 2014

Law enforcement agencies in Pearl River County report a rash of armed robberies have occurred that are associated with people attempting to purchase items off of Craig’s List.

Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said his department received a call on July 3 concerning a recent case, where an individual was attempting to purchase a motorcycle listed on the website.

Deputies were sent to the area of Burton Road in the Whitesand Community near Poplarville just before 8 p.m. to speak with the victim of an armed robbery. Tucker said when deputies arrived on scene they spoke to the victim, who informed them that he arrived at that location with cash in hand in order to meet with an individual to purchase a motorcycle.

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When he arrived at the home, the victim spoke with a man who said the motorcycle was behind the house. Tucker said as the victim and alleged seller walked to the rear of the home two men wearing ski masks and brandishing guns took the cash from the victim before fleeing the area.

Investigation into the incident showed the suspects used the home of an unsuspecting citizen, who was at work when the crime occurred.

The department is working to establish suspects in the case and expect arrests soon.

Picayune Police Department Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri said his department is also working several similar crimes, and believes the cases are related. So far one arrest has been made, but the identity of that suspect is being withheld until additional suspects are taken into custody, Magri said.

Tucker said community members should use caution when purchasing items from online sites where people meet face to face. To minimize risk and possibly avoid becoming a crime victim, he suggests meeting in a public place to complete transactions, and said to never meet at a residential or secluded location.

“Nothing you buy on Craig’s List is worth that,” Tucker said.