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Craigslist sale goes wrong for Durham man

Posted November 20, 2014

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— 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.


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  • Brandi Gaenzle Nov 25, 2014
    user avatar

    Ive bought and sold things off of craigslist. Its all about being cautious. The meeting of strangers is dangerous yes.. use good judgement and common sense.

  • 678devilish Nov 24, 2014

    He will get what he deserved. He planned this and got caught. May justice be served.

  • Alexia Proper Nov 21, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    I've sold a few cars on Craigslist. No shady neighborhood, but I think you're going overboard with your comment. You don't take cash to buy a car. Look at it, inspect it if you want, but the financial transaction and signing over the title (which must be notarized) should happen at a bank.

    You really can't trust a used car salesman, either. I've learned that the hard way. It's best to insist on seeing service records, inspect it, and get a Carfax report. Doing that and Craigslist works great for buying/selling cars.

  • Linda Kerns Kellogg Nov 21, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Actually, the father didn't "let" his son invite them. His comment states he was unaware that his son had done so

  • Lisa Menendez Nov 21, 2014
    user avatar

    What in the world is wrong with people. Welfare has removed the word "EARN" from so many people vocabulary.

  • Naysayer Nov 21, 2014

    Other outlets reporting that this guy pulled something similar, robbed a guy for his Newports. You just never know.

  • Tommy Swan Nov 21, 2014
    user avatar

    have one arm in a sling with a .44 mag in it

  • Sean Creasy Nov 21, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    I didn't say the parent TOLD their kid to invite them over. I said "parent who let their kid invite these folks to their house." Note it says let not told. Quit twisting words to suit your purpose..

  • blastamasta Nov 21, 2014

    I use Craigslist to buy and sell all the time. If you're not street smart to begin with then you might get burnt. I always like to talk to the person on the phone before I meet to 'interview' the person and gauge who I'm about to meet, no private/blocked numbers either, big red flag. If they sound sketchy, I'll say it's sold. Public places for sure, and make sure they don't follow you home afterwards. :paranoid:

  • Terry Watts Nov 21, 2014
    user avatar

    I buy and sell on CraigsList all the time. Use some common sense and you won't have any issues:

    Never give anyone your real email, phone, or address. Only use your first name and use the anonymous email service CL has.

    Meet in a public place when there are lots of people around (I like to meet at my local grocery store around dinner time).

    Take your time in making the Transaction, ie be slow about responding to email. Someone looking for quick cash will move on. Someone actually trying to buy your item will wait.