Pair of armed robberies in Indianapolis linked to ads on Craigslist.com

Suspected robber pulled gun on buyers at meetups

INDIANAPOLIS - Seconds before an Indianapolis man was attacked in a Friday holdup tied to Craigslist, detectives said he snapped a photo of the robber approaching his car.

Police have now released that photo in hopes of catching the gunman.

It was the second armed robbery reported on Friday, aimed at people who answered Indianapolis Craigslist ads.

The victim who was able to snap the photo in the second case told police he responded to an ad about a Retina Macbook for sale. The man called a phone number listed in the posting and arranged a meeting with the seller, who gave the name “Zach.”

The two agreed to meet at the Stonybook Commons apartment complex in the 3000 block of Redskin Drive.  

When the seller arrived, police said the victim was able to photograph the man he was meeting just before he climbed into the car, carrying a briefcase.

The man said the suspected robber wore a hooded sweatshirt and covered much of his face with a white scarf, when he drew a gun while sitting in the victim’s car.

The supposed computer deal involved the victim trading $600 cash and an older Macbook for the newer computer, which allowed the robber to grab both the computer and the cash before running away.

Police said the victim's cell phone that was used to photograph the suspect was also stolen, but the photo had automatically uploaded to Apple's iCloud service.

The victim was not hurt, police said.

Detectives on Tuesday said they were hoping the clear photo of the robber’s face as he was approaching the car would yield clues to cracking the case.

The first armed robbery involving Craigslist to be reported to police on Friday took a more dramatic turn, leading to a car crash and a woman’s face being slashed.

In that crime, an Indianapolis woman answered an ad for an iPhone 5 on Craigslist, agreeing to pay $400 at a meeting which was arranged in an apartment complex in the 4400 block of East 62nd Street.

The woman told police she arrived for the meeting Thursday around 1:00 p.m. and, again, the robber climbed into the car.

Police said he carried what appeared to be a blue plastic bag containing a phone, but he suddenly pulled a knife and placed it against the victim’s face.

The victim’s mother, who was driving the car, panicked during the robbery and gunned the engine.

The car veered into a carport support and an electric pole as the robber jumped out of the car and ran into the nearby Williamsburg Apartment complex.

The victim suffered a knife wound under her nose, but she declined medical treatment.

The rental car that she and her mother drove to the meeting sustained around $600 in damage, police said.

Investigators said the descriptions of the suspected robbers varied, along with their methods and the areas of town where the crimes were committed. Police said they were unsure whether the two armed robberies were related.

Police did obtain the phone numbers that both victims called to arrange the meetings, but it was unclear on Tuesday whether those numbers would lead to any clues in the cases.
 

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