Craigslist sale goes wrong for Durham man
Posted November 20, 2014
Durham, N.C. — Police have arrested a man and are looking for another following a fiery crash Wednesday night in Durham that started with a Craigslist transaction gone bad.
D'Montaye Greene, 20, faces a charge of common law robbery after, authorities said, he contacted the victim on the classifieds site about a pair of high-end shoes and ended up snatching them and leaving.
What the alleged thieves didn't expect, however, was for the victim and his father to chase after them to get a license plate number for police.
"During that time, they realized they were being followed, and they took off at an extremely high rate of speed," the father of the 20-year-old victim said Thursday.
The chase eventually ended when the car hit a tree and caught fire near Cole Mill and Umstead roads.
The father, who did not want to be identified, said Thursday that his son allowed the alleged thieves to come to his home after they responded to the ad.
"I didn't know at the time, but they had told him they didn't want to meet at the store, which should have been a big red flag," the father said. "But he's young and gullible."
Three people – police initially detained two but released one – arrived at the home, the father said, and were parked on the street.
"As he's showing one of them the shoes, the backseat passenger snatches the shoes and they take off," the father said. "They just came on my property – that I worked pretty hard for – so, I was definitely going to try to get enough information that police could get a hold of them."
Eddie Sarvis, assistant chief of police in Durham, calls such cases "robbery by appointment."
"What people who choose to buy things (on Craigslist and such sites) have got to remember is that they have no idea who they are about to encounter," he said.
Police recommend that any transactions from Craigslist and other such websites take place in public, such as the parking lot of a gas station or police station.
Sarvis recommends going a step further and go inside a business.
"If somebody is going to commit a crime, they are much less likely to do it when there's a lot of potential witnesses there," Sarvis said. "There is the potential of cameras being around.
Craigslist, on its site, has a few additional precautions: Never meet someone alone and use extra caution when buying or selling high-value items.
Wednesday's case is the second of its kind in Durham in less than a month.
In late October, police charged Jarrion Hood, 18, of Durham, with murder after he allegedly shot Jawad Ali Razai, who was trying to buy a cellphone he found on the site.
Police said they do not believe the cases are connected.