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Criminals Posting Fake Craigslist Ads To Lure Victims

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McCorkel Meghan 370x278 (2) Meghan McCorkell
Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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SEVERN, Md. (WJZ) — Anne Arundel County Police are searching for the dangerous armed robbers who are luring their victims using fake ads on Craigslist. In the latest incident, the gunman shot up a victim’s car.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the escalating crimes.

There’s been two Craigslist robberies just this month. Police believe the same suspects may be responsible.

A Craigslist ad for a dirt bike lured two victims to an isolated section of Old Camp Meade Road in Severn last Sunday. When they approached a home, two armed men came out of the woods. As they fled, the gunmen opened fire, hitting their car.

Police believe this incident is linked to another Craigslist robbery also involving a dirt bike ad that happened May 3 on Oriole Court. A 24-year-old man was robbed by gunmen as he responded to an ad.

The crime has neighbors, who didn’t want to be identified, worried.

“Absolute shock. Absolute shock that something like that would happen here in the middle of the day,” one woman said.

“We all look out for each other on this block, so it’s crazy how something of that magnitude and that serious can happen on this block,” said another neighbor.

Now police are issuing a warning for anyone that uses Craigslist.

“The criminal uses the same message we do. They go in the stores and steal, they go online and steal,” said Lt. T.J. Smith, Anne Arundel County Police.

An online heist turned deadly on Halloween. Rene Leiva Archila was gunned down in Harmans while responding to an ad for a car.

Just last year, Baltimore City put out an alert after a string of Craigslist robberies in Southwest Baltimore. Police say buyers must be wary.

“You need to go to a safe location. You need to have verbal contact with the person that you’re purchasing an item from,” Smith said.

So you don’t fall victim to online predators.

Investigators suggest if you are buying something off Craigslist, meet the seller at a police station or a shopping center with surveillance cameras.

Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to call Anne Arundel County Police.

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