MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The Maplewood Police Department is investigating a November 9 armed robbery which happened on Princeton Street near Lexington Avenue. The victim, a 55-year-old Mahwah resident, stated that he met with an unknown male he had been in contact with from Craigslist to purchase an iPhone Max for $750.
The suspect, described as a black male, 25 years old and 5 foot 11 inches wearing dark clothing, did not turn over the phone when they met to exchange. Instead, the suspect produced a black handgun and ordered the victim to give him the money. The suspect searched the victim, removed $1900 in cash from his front pocket, and fled the area southbound on Lexington Ave. The victim was not harmed during the incident.
A search and canvas of the area was negative for the suspect or any additional information. The Detective Bureau has learned of a similar case in Union and has identified a person of interest at this time but would not comment further. They said the case is to continue.
Chief of Police Jimmy DeVaul provided TAPinto SOMA the following tips for making a person-to-person purchase from a website:
-Keep your personal safety in mind. Don't go alone, and meet in a public place such as the police station.
-Record the transaction on your camera or take a photo of the other person and save it to the cloud. That way even if your phone is stolen you would have a picture of the suspect.
-Never carry large amounts of cash.
-When something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
-KNOW WHEN TO WALK AWAY. If the other party is not willing to meet inside the lobby of a police station take that as a red flag!
-Keep in mind that with these purchases, it is unlikely you can return the item if it's broken, fake, or other than what you expected. Ask yourself if it's worth the risk!