Since December 2014, Northeast Patrol Division officers have responded to several offenses involving the attempt to sell or buy smart phones on Craigslist. Complainants respond to advertisements and upon meeting the seller/buyer become the victims of crime. A total of five offenses involving the sale/purchase of cellular phones occurred between December 18, 2014 and January 23, 2015. In three of the offenses the complainants were forced to relinquish property/money at gunpoint. All Northeast Patrol offenses have occurred in the general area bordered by Park Lane, Skillman Street, Mockingbird Lane, and N. Central Expressway.
The Dallas Police Department wants to remind citizens that while many Craigslist transactions are legitimate, citizens should be wary and alert during every encounter.
Dallas PD suggests:
- Meet in a well-lit, public location. The parking lot of the police or fire station in your area is a great idea!
- Arrive several minutes early. If anything about the location, the people, the time does not feel right, leave.
- Do not enter the buyer or seller’s vehicle; do not allow them to enter your vehicle.
- Remain vigilant during the entire encounter – if anything begins to feel wrong, abandon the transaction.
- Take an additional person with you to meet the buyer/seller.
- Do not volunteer property or money not previously agreed upon.
If you do become the victim of robbery:
- Remain calm and listen to demands.
- Do not resist the suspect’s efforts to take your property.
- Be alert to the suspect’s physical description (race, sex, age, clothing, tattoos, etc.)
- Be alert to the suspect’s vehicle description (make, model, color, license plate, etc.)
- Call for police immediately.
If you see something, say something. Report in-progress crime at 9-1-1. Submit crime information to Crime Stoppers at 1-877-373-TIPS (8477), or submit a crime tip online at: http://www.ntcc.crimestoppersweb.com/