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Buyer Beware: Man Robbed In Online Scam
LA MESITA PARK -- Robbers have once again used the promise of a Craigslist transaction to set up their victim.
La Mesa police said a man went to La Mesita Park at 8855 Dallas Street just before 8:30 Thursday evening to meet a man he believed was going to sell him two Macintosh laptop computers.
The 21-year-old male victim agreed to purchase two Mac Book computers from the suspect, who had posted an on-line ad on Craigslist. The victim agreed to meet the suspect at La Mesita Park in La Mesa. The victim drove to the park with a friend to make the purchase. When the victim arrived, he observed two men sitting inside a parked 1996 Honda Accord with a California license plate 3STU216.
The victim and his friend approached the suspect vehicle to complete the transaction. During the money transaction, one suspect brandished a box cutter and exited the Honda along with the second man. The first suspect demanded money from the victim, who handed the robber $2,100. About that same time, two other men walked out from behind the park's bathroom building. One punched the victim in the face. All four suspects then entered the Honda and were last seen driving east on Dallas Street towards Fletcher Parkway.
The victim was not injured and the identity of the suspects is not known. Police said the suspect vehicle was recently purchased by an auto dealership in Tijuana, Mexico.
Police described the robbers as suspect #1: Hispanic male, 19 years, 5’9”, 140 pounds, with long dark curly hair. He was wearing tan shorts and a blue shirt. The suspect’s right arm was sleeved with tattoos. He was armed with a box cutter.
Suspect #2: Hispanic male, 20-25 years, 5’9”, 150 pounds, with long dark curly hair. He was wearing a black baseball cap, a black shirt and tan shorts. His left arm was sleeved with tattoos.
Suspect #3 and #4: Hispanic males wearing dark clothing.
Robbers have used the free classified advertising service to entice bargain-hunters to bring cash to locations where they are then robbed. One recent incident in San Diego led to the shooting death of one would-be buyer.
If you have any information on the La Mesita incident, please call the La Mesa Police Department at (619) 667-1400.
You may also call Crime Stoppers’ anonymous toll-free tip line (888) 580-TIPS (or www.sdcrimestoppers.com). You can remain anonymous, and be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest in this case.