Craiglist related crimes surrounding iPhones on the rise

WARREN, Mich. (WXYZ) - Warren police have a warning about crimes related to Craigslist.

They say people have been selling iPhones and other electronics through ads on the website, but when they meet the so-called "buyer" they get robbed.

Investigators say in the last month they've had five cases involving robberies.

Tom Kim put an ad on Craigslist to sell his iPhone. He set up a meeting with a "buyer" at a gas station in Warren. When he got there, the buyer wasn't alone.

Tom says, "Before I handed him the phone, another person he was with punched me in the face, grabbed the phone and took off."

Warren Police say Craigslist crimes like that are on the rise. Investigators say it has happened five times in the last month.

"We've had it where a gentleman was selling an iPhone and the guy says... Let me see your iPhone to make sure it looks okay. Then he pulls a gun on the guy and says 'Now it's my iPhone' and he's off on his way," says Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green.

Investigators want to remind everyone that it's not enough to meet during the day because too much can go wrong no matter what time it is.

"If I had any apprehensions whatsoever, I would abort the deal, but if you're semi confident and you still want to go through with the deal... I'd say meet me at the police station and I think you'll see a lot of people not wanting to meet you," says Commissioner Green.

Tom Kim says he has learned his lesson and will be more careful next time.

"I never thought it would happen to me," he says.

Police say in other cases, there have been no assaults, but the crooks used counterfeit money.

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