FOUNTAIN, Colo. (CBS4) – Police tracking a thief in Colorado say he identifies his victims on Craigslist and then later robs them at gunpoint.

There have been two armed robberies reported in a two week period in the city of Fountain. They both surround a post on Craigslist about a Chevy Caprice for sale.

In the cases police say the victims are putting themselves in bad situations. Each reported crime took place after dark, a time when police say cars are generally not sold.

The last encounter took place at 11 p.m. Monday as the victim met a man about a car for sale. In that case, as in the others, the alleged seller fired shots from a .40 caliber gun and stole money.

So far no one has been hurt.

Police stress personal safety must be the priority when buying or selling items on Craigslist.

“Craigslist is a great way to find stuff but it also presents opportunities for Craigslist,” CBS4’s Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks said. “You always hear when buying or selling on Craigslist to meet in a public place. … Consider a police department. They are open 24 hours a day, and if the person refuses — then you should probably find another buyer or seller.”

Also, Brooks recommends telling a friend or family member where you are going and have someone accompany you.

“Don’t be so desperate to buy or sell something that you’re willing to sell away your safety,” Brooks said.

Brooks interviewed several different people in recent years who have become victimized in violent incidents after seeing or posting Craigslist ads. Watch her report in the video clip below.


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