On Wednesday, July 31st, a man met up with a buyer he met on craigslist.com at a Starbucks in Valencia to sell an iPhone 10 to someone he spoke with online. They met up at the coffee shop shortly before 6 pm, and when the seller showed the phone to the buyer, the buyer grabbed it out of his hand and ran off after a short struggle. Law enforcement is having difficulty tracking down the suspect, as it is believed he turned the phone off to avoid any tracking software used by law enforcement to find stolen phones, tablets, and computers. As of now, the suspect is still at large.
Using sites like Craigslist.com (as the victim in the above incident did) is a great way to by, sell, trade, or give away items. Most of the people who use these sites have no ulterior motives, and intend to actually pay for the items they’re interested in. However, incidents like the one above are, unfortunately, not uncommon. There are plenty of people who troll the internet and buy/sell apps with the expressed purpose of stealing the item for sale from the seller, often turning around and selling it themselves.
If you ever want to buy or sell something online, and you need to meet a stranger face-to-face in order to do it, the best way to go about it is to use the Santa Clarita Sheriff Station Safe Exchange Zone. It’s an area just outside the front of the station on Magic Mountain Parkway that’s painted green and under 24-hour video surveillance. It’s the best, safest place to make any exchange with someone you do not know well or have never met before. If for whatever reason a person you’re looking to sell something to or buy something from is unwilling to meet you there, you should consider their motives suspect, and probably avoid meeting with them altogether.