Craigslist safety tips after local woman robbed

Posted at 10:35 AM, Nov 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-30 10:35:32-05

Public safety officers are warning you to be careful about buying or selling on Craigslist, after a local woman was robbed at gunpoint over the weekend while trying to make a purchase in Albion.

The 42-year-old woman met a car seller she found on Craigslist Saturday night, and that's when things went wrong.

She followed two people to a new location to buy the car, and then one man pulled a gun on her demanding money. The suspects then fled the scene with the cash.

Officials say you should try to talk with a seller you meet on Craigslist or a similar site before meeting in person. Try not to meet after dark and don't go to a second location.

Plus, officials say if the car you want to buy isn't there when you arrive, immediately leave.

When a Georgia couple was killed in February after contacting a car seller on Craigslist, East Lansing police told us if someone gets pushy, call off the deal.

"That's a red flag that you should probably back off from that transaction and find another seller or buyer," says Lt. Steve Gonzalez with the East Lansing Police Department.

Lt. Gonzalez says you should be aware of your surroundings and bring someone you trust with you.

Many local police departments including Lansing offer people a safe zone to conduct Craigslist transactions.

In the City of Lansing, you can sell or exchange anything but weapons in the southeast part of the Operations Center parking lot on Wise Road.

East Lansing Police also allow sellers to use the station's lobby or parking lot near City Hall as a safe place to meet.

Even though you can't absolutely guarantee your safety on sites like Craigslist, police say taking precautions goes a long way.