If that all sounds fishy to you, you’re right. “It was likely a scam, sending would be victims to different addresses can be a ploy to let criminals get a good look at you before they decide to strike”, said Springfield Police Chief David Thompson.
According to a Springfield Police report, when Mr. Guzman arrived at the Continental Apartments he got out of his truck and met with an Hispanic male about 5-2 with black hair, a mustache and goatee. As the two chatted, two other males came out of the dark brandishing guns, they pointed the guns at Mr Guzman and demanded money. The suspects took Mr. Guzman’s wallet and cell phone. Then they turned towards his wife and also demanded money, she gave them her wallet. The suspects then fled on foot. Mr. Guzman believes the suspects may have been traveling in a dark green Nissan Sentra similar to the one pictured. The other two suspects are described as Hispanic males both with mustaches.
Police believe this was a craigslist setup from the start.
Chief Thompson told Smokey, “If you are dealing with someone online, you must be very cautious, you don’t know who you are dealing with or what their motives are. Meet them at the sheriffs office, or someplace very public with surveillance. Don’t tell them you are bringing cash, but if you do, be sure to meet in a very public place. You may just be talking to a very well meaning citizen with something for sale, or it may be someone trying to set you up so they can steal from you.”
If you have any information on the individuals in this case please call Springfield Police at 615-384-8422 or Crime Stoppers at 615-382-3799. All calls are anonymous and Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000.00 for information that leads to an arrest.
If this story seems to ring a bell, just a few weeks ago we had a similar situation in Greenbrier. On August 16th at 11:30PM Greenbrier Police were called to respond to an individual who had been robbed by gunpoint and assaulted at the Deerfield Inn in Greenbrier. The victim alleged to police that he met a young lady on an internet website and discussed meeting each other at the Deerfield Inn in Greenbrier TN.
According to the police report, the understanding between them was they were going to “party and other activities”, instead he was robbed by gunpoint. A few days later suspects matching the same description did the same thing to more victims at the same hotel. Police made arrests in that case and suspects were arrested but the point is clear, be careful with people you meet or engage with on the internet. If you would like to read more on the story at the Deerfield Inn go here
Jim Ball reporting