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Detectives Issue Warning After String Of Craigslist Robberies

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- A clear warning for online buyers and sellers after city detectives report a string of Craigslist robberies in Southwest Baltimore.

As Gigi Barnett explains, the suspect targets buyers selling Apple products.

If you're trying to sell or buy something online, Baltimore police want you to make sure the person on the other end isn't the robber they're looking for. The warning comes after several sellers were robbed in Southwest Baltimore this month. Detectives say the transactions seemed harmless--until the buyer and seller met.

"We have buyers coming into the city and meeting individuals who they don't know and being robbed," said Detective Jeremy Silbert, Baltimore City police spokesman.

Baltimore police say the robberies start with a search of goods and services on Craigslist. The buyer then contacts the seller and sets up a meeting near Edmondson Avenue and Mount Holly Street. When the seller arrives, the buyer pulls out a gun and snatches the goods.

"The suspect description is vague. It's at least one male who produces a handgun and robs the victim," Silbert said.

Police say the robber has a taste for Apples.

"These robberies seem to be centered around Apple products and iPhones. So again, if you're selling or buying any type of phone, just be mindful of the area," Silbert said.

But police say Craigslist robberies aren't a new crime.

Last summer, a transaction in Bolton Hill became violent when the victims used a gun to protect themselves.

City police say another way to guard against Craigslist robberies is to not bring cash. Pay the seller with a check or money order.

Police say you should meet in a public place like a police station or library if you're buying or selling online.

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