Man seeking to buy 23 phones from Craigslist ad robbed at gunpoint in Oak Park

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By Jean Lotus

Staff Reporter

A man from Hammond, Ind. who told police he advertises on Craigslist that he purchases iPhones, was robbed at gunpoint in the 1000 block of South Taylor Avenue around 9:25 p.m. on March 26.

The man said he made an appointment to meet with a seller to buy 23 Apple iPhones for $370 each. When he and three friends arrived at the designated address, he spoke on the phone to the alleged buyer who told him his brother would come outside with the phones.

The victim told police a man approached on foot, displayed a black automatic handgun and demanded money. The victim complied and the offender fled southbound on Taylor Avenue. Estimated loss was $8,500.

Reader Comments

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Reginald from Oak Park  

Posted: April 1st, 2013 4:17 PM

An automatic handgun? That's a pretty rare sight.

OP   

Posted: March 29th, 2013 7:29 PM

Common sense is so uncommon these days. 23 iphones? Really - you can't even buy that many from iphone store = if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is. he had to lose a lot of oney to understand this simple truth.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: March 29th, 2013 12:20 PM

Debate - modern handguns generally come in three types. Revolvers, Semi-Automatics, and Automatics or Machine pistols. There has been a lot of misinformation in the media lately with an attempt to blur the lines between semi-automatics and automatic weapons. It's an important difference and not a cosmetic one that I would hope a newspaper crime writer would get correct.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: March 29th, 2013 12:02 PM

@ & FYI- I agree that buying thousands of dollars worth of phones from a stranger in a strange city at night is a dumb idea. But there is no law against dumb ideas and there is a law against UUW.

Tax Man  

Posted: March 29th, 2013 11:29 AM

Can the buyer write of the loss on his taxes?

Dan from River Forest  

Posted: March 29th, 2013 10:02 AM

The main assumption in this article and by some commentors is that the 23 phones actually existed. A criminal bent on robbing someone really cant be taken at their word that they really have the product they claim. They just are looking for a dupe to rob by appealing to their sense of greed.

The Gun Debate is tiresome from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2013 11:59 PM

Joe, isn't "automatic" popular vernacular for a clip fed non-revolver, however incorrect it may actually be.

FYI  

Posted: March 28th, 2013 11:14 PM

"Of course this doesn't apply to armed robbers..."... so, "joe." how does this not apply to people traveling from Hammond, Indiana carrying $8,500 in cash to make a deal with total strangers? .... just askin'.

@Joe  

Posted: March 28th, 2013 11:08 PM

We don't know that they weren't armed. This story smells and it has nothing to do with guns. All these people involved were up to no good. I've sold things on craigslist and you always meet in a public place. And for a transaction that was thousands of dollars? Please

joe from south oak park  

Posted: March 28th, 2013 10:56 PM

Bob- unfortunately the people of oak park and anyone traveling through the village are prohibited from having a weapon readily available or in working condition outside of the home. Of course this doesn't apply to armed robbers, but in the interest of "safety" our fair leaders have decided that it's far better for the average citizen to fear walking down the street than it is for us to be able to defend ourselves against armed robbers. You see the robbers lack privilege and that is our fault.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: March 28th, 2013 10:40 PM

if the gunman didn't fire the pistol how did the victim know it was an automatic?

C Stewart  

Posted: March 28th, 2013 6:24 PM

Anytime that I sell anything on Craigslist, I always tell the interested party that I will only meet them at a police station. If they don't respond to that, then I know that they are up to no good. If they do, then I know that I am in a safe place.

Library Bob from Milton-Freewater, OR  

Posted: March 28th, 2013 3:28 PM

If I were doing a transaction of that size I'd insist on doing it during daylight hours in a well-populated public place. If the buyer brought three friends all the way from Hammond, to do a cash deal in a strange neighborhood at night, why weren't THEY armed?

OP Resident from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2013 3:00 PM

Over the last few months the crime reporting sections of the local papers have dwindled to a single column. They used to be a full page in size with smaller print. What is going on?

Roxann Lopez from Oak Park, IL  

Posted: March 28th, 2013 2:19 PM

The 1000 block of South Taylor means Barrie Park. Speaking as a concerned citizen maybe an increased police presence in the form of an occasional patrol would help?

Related Story  

Posted: March 28th, 2013 12:55 PM

In related news a man from Gary, Indiana told police that he advertises bikes on Craiglist and was robbed of 12 bikes in the 1000 Block of South Humphrey. The victim told police that he quit trying to sell IPhones off Craiglist in South Oak Park ("SoOP") because the trade was getting a little "too hot" down there.

OP Rez  

Posted: March 28th, 2013 12:41 PM

I agree -- sounds made up but if it isn't, these are all criminals. Who buys cell phones like that? You have to know they were stolen. And $370 per phone. I just don't buy this story at all.

Ellen from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2013 12:07 PM

There is something strange about this story. It almost sounds made-up.

Chris from OP  

Posted: March 28th, 2013 11:57 AM

But then, $370 per phone? Either the buyer is exaggerating how much money was stolen or these were all iPhone 5s?!

Smelling a Rat from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2013 11:55 AM

Someone purchasing Iphones in quantity from a non-authorized dealer was probably thinking he was buying stolen merchandise to resell at a profit. The real victims were probably the owners of all those IPhones!

Chris from OP  

Posted: March 28th, 2013 11:52 AM

Other than the fact that the buyer probably knew he was buying stolen phones, this is pretty disturbing.

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