LORTON, Va. (WUSA) — $1500 for a late model Mercedes probably sounds fantastic.
But think twice.
Fairfax County Police are out with a big warning tonight after three armed robberies involving Craigslist car deals, one in Clifton and the other two in Lorton.
Police say don’t take a bunch of cash and meet someone in a secluded spot at night. Twice perspective buyers agreed to meet strangers down dead end Wadebrook Terrace at Pohick Rd in hope of getting a good deal on a car. They ended up at the wrong end of a gun.
It happens so often, Craigslist.org has a big warnings on its website.
Three different times, people saw a listing for a great deal on a car. They arranged to meet the purported “seller” in a spot they didn’t know well. But when they arrived with a wad of cash,
two men came up, waved a gun and demanded the money.
“These kind of scams happen all the time, you need to be very careful,” says Ofc. Tawny Wright, a spokeswoman for Fairfax County Police.
The two victims in the first robbery turned over a bunch of money. Police are not saying how much.
But on September 25 and on September 27, the victims may have been able to escape.
None of the victims were able to get a solid enough description for police to publicize. And if the cops can’t track the suspects back through Craigslist, the cases could be tough to crack.
Police say it’s fine to use Craigslist, but you need to keep your wits about you. Meet in a public spot — a 7/11, a shopping center, something like that. Try to meet during the day — there’s just better visibility and more people around. And try not to go alone.
Obviously when you’re trying to buy or sell something that’s worth a lot, it can be even more risky.
Written and Reported by Bruce Leshan