If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having your phone stolen, have a good look at Craigslist after reporting it to the police; because not only could your phone be for sale on the site, the thief could be the one selling it. That’s what happened to an unnamed man in New Orleans recently, prompting the police to issue a warning to criminals, saying they may become victims themselves when trying to sell stolen property on the website.
Reported by local news source nola.com, the unlucky smartphone owner had put his device down while scanning items at a self-service checkout, only to find out it had been picked up by someone else when he went to retrieve it.
Left without a phone, the man went home and decided to look for a replacement, turning to online classifieds site Craigslist. While browsing for a comparable model, he found one that sounded extremely familiar. Sensibly, he alerted police about the situation, rather than going to confront the thief himself. Now in control, the police set up a fake buy with the thief.
Police met India Carmouche — seller and suspected thief — at a restaurant to ‘purchase’ the phone, and when the officers identified themselves, she tried to make a run for it. Other officers outside the restaurant quickly arrested her before she could escape. She has since been charged with possession of stolen property and resisting arrest. Although it’s not stated in the report, we’d assume the previous owner was (or will be soon) reunited with his lost phone.
Police chief Randy Smith is quoted in the story. “We quite frequently warn legitimate buyers and sellers about the dangers of Craiglist, but rarely do we issue a warning to criminals. You may also become a ‘victim’ on Craigslist when trying to sell stolen property.”
Remember, if you do find yourself in a similar situation, get the police involved and don’t try to handle it yourself. One 18-year-old was shot and killed after trying to recover his stolen phone earlier this year.