The victim of Craigslist-related theft is now warning others to take caution when meeting with a potential seller
The victim of Craigslist-related theft in Knoxville is now warning others to take caution when meeting with potential buyers and sellers.
Last month, Terry Landrum of Morgan County spotted an ad on Craigslist for car tires and rims. He set a meeting time and place with the seller, who wanted to complete the transaction in Knoxville.
At first, Landrum did not notice anything unusual.
"It's not like you're mailing a check where you don't know what you're getting. You're face to face with somebody," he said.
After Landrum paid, he says the seller took off.
"I opened the tailgate and kind of just sat down on the corner of the tailgate, waiting for the guy to load the tires," he said. "But when I turned around, there was no guy!"
Landrum wasn't the only victim. Earlier this week, 10News reported a Knoxville man is facing charges after police say he posted ads on Craigslist, then stole from prospective buyers.
An undercover officer from the KPD Repeat Offender Squad made contact with the suspect.
"Once they met, they drove to what was supposed to be an apartment where rims were being held," explained Public Information Officer, Darrell DeBusk. "Once they arrived at that location, we were able to take that suspect into custody without incident."
The Knoxville Police Department took 30-year-old John Comerford into custody. Comerford faces charges for theft and robbery.
DeBusk says both buyers and sellers should take extra caution when meeting someone they do not know. He advises: always take another person along for the transaction, and stay in a public place.
"If it's someone that's trying to scam you or is thinking about robbing you, they're going to think twice about it because they don't want to be recognized. They don't want to be seen, they don't want to have witnesses."
Landrum, who is a regular buyer and seller through Craigslist, says he is no stranger to online safety. Now facing his loss, he wants to see justice served.
"At this point, [it's a] lost cause to ever see my money again. I just want the satisfaction knowing that he's going to spend time," Landrum said.