Man robbed of $6,500 at gunpoint

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published April 1, 2016

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EASTPOINTE — A man was robbed of $6,500 at gunpoint during a Craigslist deal gone wrong in Eastpointe March 29.

According to a report from the Eastpointe Police Department, the man had arranged to buy a 2006 Chevy Trailblazer SS for $6,500 on the website Craigslist. He told police that he had exchanged several emails with the suspect and had planned to meet the day prior at the Macomb Mall in Roseville.

The man told police that he had been texting back and forth with the suspect on March 29 when the suspect provided an address in the 15000 block of Maplewood, telling the victim that it was his aunt’s house and the place where he stored the vehicle. When the victim arrived, he told police the house was vacant and for sale, the report said.

As the victim returned to his vehicle, the suspect reportedly approached him asking for confirmation of his identity and if he had brought the cash. The victim confirmed both questions and was told the vehicle was in the garage at the house; the suspect then allegedly pulled out his cellphone, at which point two other men emerged from behind a house, the report said.

The suspects allegedly threatened to shoot the victim unless he handed over the $6,500, the report said, and the victim complied after one of the suspects produced a handgun. The report said that the suspects fled southbound on Elmwood on foot; a neighbor who observed the robbery told police that he and the victim got into his personal vehicle and chased the suspects. The suspects reportedly entered a silver

Chrysler 200 with four doors and eventually headed southbound on Hayes in Detroit.

The report said that a similar armed robbery incident occurred in Roseville March 28 that matched the description of the suspects and vehicle; police were able to link the two based on the suspect’s cellphone number. The suspects were all described as black men around 20 years old, with two suspects wearing gray hooded sweatshirts and jeans and the third wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and jeans.

Anyone with information can contact Eastpointe police at (586) 445-5100.

Police Detective Neil Childs said police have seen an uptick in the number of crimes associated with people buying things online.

“You could potentially be a victim at any time,” Childs said. “You want to avoid carrying a large amount of cash, because unfortunately, it makes you more of a target if the suspect knows you’re going to be carrying a lot of cash. You also want to set up a meeting point that’s somewhere (safe).”

Childs said making transactions in a police department lobby or parking lot is typically a safe bet, and if the other person refuses, then it may be best to back out of the deal.

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