Police emphasize safety when selling items online after couple robbed at gunpoint

Police emphasize safety when selling items online after couple robbed at gunpoint

A Spokane couple found themselves the victims of a terrifying robbery while trying to sell their car on Craigslist. The couple was zip tied and held at gunpoint as the thieves ransacked their home.

According to court documents the Spokane couple was trying to sell their car in a West Central neighborhood. A man and a woman came to look at the car. But, after a test drive, the couple says they were ambushed.

Two more men suddenly ambushed the couple, zip tying their hands and taping their mouths closed. One of the robbers held the couple at gunpoint, while the other three went through the home.

They ended up stealing thousands of dollars worth of items, as well as three vehicles.

Police ended up arresting one of the suspects on an unrelated charge, but they are still looking for the three other crooks.

This terrifying situation is something anyone selling stuff online could find themselves in. That’s why police say it’s so important not to sell to anyone at your home.

“There are people out there looking to take advantage of you. It may not be the actual time when they purchase the item from you at your home, but they may come back another time when you’re not there,” said Officer John O’Brien with the Spokane Police Department.

They say the best place is a big open area full of witnesses.

“A parking lot like this would be a great place. Lots of customers coming in and out, you’ve got a busy arterial right behind us, lots of people to see what’s going on,” said O’Brien

Most importantly, police say you need to listen to that voice in your head when it tells you something seems a little off.

“Trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right to meet the person at the time and place they suggest, find another buyer, or if they’re really interested in your item, they’ll probably go along with meeting you where you want to be met,” O’Brien said.

Police also recommend bringing someone along with you if possible. And if you’re worried about meeting up with someone, police say you can use their northeast precinct at Market and Diamond to make transactions.