Police Discuss Craigslist Robbery; Give Tips on How Stay Safe

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COLUMBIA - In response to a Craigslist deal that turned into a strong-arm robbery Sunday night, police shared tips with KOMU 8 News on how to stay safe when conducting online deals.

Columbia police officers went to Broadway Village Apartments Sunday in response to a man who told them he had been robbed.

The 23-year-old man, who was from Jefferson City, had arranged to meet with a man at the apartment that he met on Craigslist. The two were supposed to meet for the victim to purchase a cell phone.

When the victim arrived, police said two suspects assaulted him and took his personal cell phone, his wallet, and money. The suspects fled on foot. The Boone County Sheriff's Department K-9 unit tried to track the suspects but did not. 

Sergeant Joe Bernhard with the Columbia Police Department gave some tips on how to avoid dangerous situations when conducting online deals.

"Our recommendation is if you are going to buy or sell something on Craigslist or one of the other websites that you do a little checking out into the person, basically," he said. "I think there's ways you can check out online, if they're a reputable seller or if they've sold before. And also, arrange to meet in a public place, preferably in the daytime."

Sgt. Bernhard said meeting places like gas stations or other places with a lot of people are usually a safe bet.