A Word of Warning to the Wise…

The following was published in the Marblehead Patch, a local on-line newspaper for this area.

The reason I am including it here is just a warning to anyone who might be using Craigslist to purchase items, and what can happen in these days of more and more crime, criminals, and generally people who have no jobs or regular incomes and who are resorting to this type of crime. Yes, it’s always been around, but it just seems that lately there are more and more of these one-on-one robberies and worse around this area, and it’s just getting so close to home that it makes me very nervous about living here. But I have no choice, we are stuck here. So don’t let this happen to you.

Friday saw the second Craigslist armed robbery in Swampscott in the past three months.

The victim in Friday’s robbery said that he contacted a party using Craigslist to purchase a Rolex Watch listed for $4,500 dollars, said Swampscott police Det. Tim Cassidy.

The suspect, accompanied by others, proceeded to rob the victim at gun point.

The first Craigslist robbery took place in August and involved a Rolex watch, though in August the robber stole a Rolex.

A suspect in that case was taken into custody earlier this week. Below is information provided by Swampscott police Det. Tim Cassidy:

The victim agreed to meet the seller at the Stop and Shop parking lot in Swampscott.

Once at the parking lot, the victim got into the suspect’s car which had a male driver described as being a white male named Mike who is heavy set with black hair and around 30 years old, the front passenger seat occupant is described as being a white female who was thin and around 30 years old, the rear passenger seat occupant was described as having reddish hair and also a white male,” the police detective said.

The victim reports that he got into the rear passenger seat and, when in the car, the male party in the back asked him for the money; at this the victim asked for the watch, police said.

The victim states that the rear passenger then pulled out a black hand gun, reached into the victim’s pocket and took the cash, police said.

The victim alleges that he was then ripped out of the car by the front driver and thrown to the ground, and then the Lexus sped off, police said.

The vehicle was located in Gloucester by Gloucester Police Dept.

The robbery is under investigation by the Swampscott Police Detectives Office. Anyone with information is asked to please call 781-595 1111.

The parking lot where this all went down is right up the street from our neighborhood. We used to shop at that food store all the time but their prices were so high we switched to Market Basket. But Paul goes up there for his prescriptions once a month.

I don’t know a safe way to go about meeting someone somewhere to buy something from them. They must know you have money, so it’s just way too dangerous to bring money. Maybe if you must meet someone this way, it might be better to tell the seller beforehand that you cannot bring cash, that you can only pay by check, and if he/she won’t accept it, then forget it. Also, it might be a good idea to bring along a large, burly friend or two to accompany you on the transaction.

Another thing people do is have strangers found on these lists come to their homes. This is something I would never recommend. Who knows who they are or what their motives are? It’s just way too risky for this kind of purchasing, in my opinion.

Besides, $4900 for a watch? Are you nuts?

I guess “Buyer Beware” is a good rule to follow. “Seller Beware” might also be good to keep in mind.


It’s in every one of us to be wise;

Find your heart, open up both your eyes.

We can all know every thing without ever knowing why.

It’s in every one of us, by and bye.

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6 Responses to A Word of Warning to the Wise…

  1. TopsyTurvy says:

    TS, I have a business where I use PayPal constantly. Between Ebay and Etsy, I’ve been using PayPal for something like 9 years without any problem at all.


  2. T.S. says:

    I had a bad experience with craigslist and with paypal, and decided not to use them again. You would think it would be simple, but scamsters ruin it for all of us.


  3. TopsyTurvy says:

    I’ve done exchanges at parking lots with people buying or selling on kijiji. Except for the ones who never show, it hasn’t been a problem.

    As for the people who got robbed, what didn’t they understand about ‘don’t tell someone you don’t know that you’ll have either tons of cash or an expensive watch with you’?

    The items I’ve sold were either very inexpensive or very large, so neither were good candidates for being stolen – and I think I’ll keep it that way.


  4. Daisy says:

    I’ve heard a lot of bad stories about Craigslist. It sounds like something to avoid to me.


  5. Eric Mayer says:

    Sheesh. I would think that a transaction for a watch could be handled via the mail. If one were stupid enough to spend that much for a watch advertised on Craig’s List no less. I’m sure the buyer could’ve got a better deal on the streets of New York City.


  6. mz. em says:

    Oh my. Who would ever purchase an expensive watch on Craig’s list in the first place? I am with you in buyer beware.


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