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Craigslist cell phone buyer robbed of $8,500 in Oak Park

Updated: May 5, 2013 6:12AM

OAK PARK — A Indiana man looking to buy 23 cell phones from a supposed supplier he met on Craigslist was instead robbed at gunpoint of $8,500 Tuesday night.

Detective Sgt. Mike Richardson said the thief answered an ad on Craigslist offering to buy used and even damaged iPhones. When the Hammond, Ind. man received a call from someone offering to sell 23 iPhones for $370 a piece, the man agreed to drive to Oak Park to make a cash deal.

“He imagined making $5,000 profit if he re-sold 23 iPhones,” said Richardson. He was talking on the cell phone (with the thief) while driving on the 1000 block of N. Taylor Avenue, when the supposed seller told him, “Pull over right there.”

When the buyer did so, a man walked out from between two house, pointed a gun at him and demanded all his money. The man gave up about $4,500, while one of three friends in the car with him turned over $4,000.

The gunman then ran off.

“It’s under investigation. We’re looking into the phone number used to call the Craiglist ad,” said Richardson, who offered some advice to people thinking of engaging in such transactions with strangers.

“If it sounds like it’s too good to be true, it usually is,” Richardson said. “I’d caution people that you don’t know who’s on the other end of an email or phone call.”

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