Authorities Offer Tips to Avoid Robbery by Appointment

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): There are deals to be found online with sites like Craigslist offering free postings.

But Fort Wayne Police Captain Tom Bandor says there are a growing number of buyers or sellers getting more than they bargained for when they meet up with strangers to complete those online transactions.

He calls it robbery by appointment. “(Offenders) are taking you to someplace they are familiar with. Someplace they have an exit planned and they knowing you are bringing either cash or the item they desire.”

It’s essentially an ambush. Bandor advises, if the deal is too good to pass up, then go some place in well-lit, public locations, such as the police station, the Rousseau Center or Citizen’s Square – places with security or video cameras and some place you are familiar with.

Other tips include:

*Conduct the transaction during the day
*Do the most research you can on the other party, check their cell phone number online, etc.
*Never meet at a private residence or apartment building.
*Always bring a friend.

He adds, that's good advice for meeting you'd have with strangers.