Reporting Meghan McCorkell
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Police end their hunt for the armed robber posing as a seller on Craigslist. The man arrested apparently carried out his crimes in public.
Meghan McCorkell has the shocking place officers made the arrest.
Police say David Brown, 26, was using computers at the Enoch Pratt Free Library on Baltimore’s Cathedral Street to log on to Craigslist. And that’s where they found him on Friday.
It was behind the doors at the central library where police say Brown set his scheme into motion. And it was behind a computer screen that he was busted.
“We suspect that he may have been lining up his next victim,” Anthony Guglielmi, spokesman for the Baltimore City Police Department, said.
Police say Brown used library computers to post fake ads on Craigslist advertising big ticket items like watches and rare coins.
He’d lure buyers to a location on Callaway Avenue, then put a gun in their face.
“It is kind of alarming that this was even happening, the whole modus operandi of how he was trying to rob people,” Roswell Encina, who works at the Enoch Pratt Public Library, said.
Police have linked Brown to four cases. In one, he fired a shot at a victim who ran away.
But when police showed up at the library, Brown had nowhere to run.
“That’s pretty messed up. I mean, you’re taking advantage of the little something that they give us here in the city,” Chris Golden, a patron of the library, said.
Everyone who uses the computers at the library must swipe their library card. Then, their Internet histories can be traced.
“I’m a little glad that at least it happened here, and the police were able to trace this person back here and we were able to help them,” Encina said.
The case has some taking extra precautions when they use Craigslist.
“When I do go to meet people, I always take somebody with me,” Darian Fowler, a Craigslist user, said. “There’s a lot of things about social networks that you can’t trust.”
Because you never know who’s really on the other end of the computer.
Police are now questioning Brown to see if he is linked to other armed robberies in the city.
Police say Brown got away with nearly $5,000 from two victims just this month.