Image via RapSheets.org

As today’s news makes all too clear, meeting strangers via the Internet can be risky business, even if you meet them in public and in broad daylight.

At the end of August in Kissimmee, Florida, a man met Alexander Diaz (above) in a Walgreens parking lot at 5:00 p.m. They had arranged the meeting on Craigslist, and the plan was for the man to buy some cell phones from Diaz.

The transaction didn’t go as planned. Instead, Diaz demanded more money, threatened the buyer, and even walked to his car and placed something in his waistband. He walked up to the would-be buyer in a stance that suggested he was about to pull a gun.

Afraid for his life, the man drew his own gun and fired several rounds into Diaz, who fled in his car at a high speed. Officers were able to find Diaz shortly afterward with non-life-threatening gunshot wounds. He was treated at a hospital and then booked for armed robbery.

Stranger danger is real on the Internet, for adults as well as children. In another incident back in June, a teenage girl’s online chat partner tracked her down all the way from New Zealand to Goochland, Virginia, until he arrived on her doorstep and was shot by the girl’s mother.

The Orange County Sheriff warns the public to be aware “of the many dangers that exist in agreeing to meet unknown people from Internet sites or phone apps.”

You have been so advised.

27 COMMENTS

  1. It’s always a good idea to make such transactions in front of your local police department. The only people who will refuse are criminals.

  2. When pursuing a craigslist transaction,
    Don’t let yourself fall for distraction,
    For if the meeting is late,
    It could just be bait,
    For some unsavory criminal action.

  3. I recently met a stranger to purchase a firearm. I included two safeguards for that meeting:
    (1) I required his cell phone number for traceability.
    (2) I required that we meet in the parking lot of a police station.

    All went well.

  4. “Craigslist” is a Fourth Party Vendor, not a Second Party Vendor like “Amazon”! At least with Amazon there’s an Expiation in any Sale, “Craigslist” is strictly As Is. That’s why I don’t use “Craigslist”, no safeguards in place…

    • That’s the whole point Ulnar. It’s a classifieds listing website, not a vendor. Of course private party sales are going to be as-is without “safeguards”. If you want “safeguards” go to your LGS.

      • Exactly! No one has ever been screwed over by a gun store. Now If you’ll excuse me, my limited edition gold plated Taurus just came in. I can’t believe my dealer was willing to let it go for only a grand!

        • I find it somewhat funny that criminals can do the reverse and use the reliable services of say a pizza delivery, to compel the delivery driver to show up at a place and time of their own choosing…

        • Back in the ’90’s, Domino’s Pizza were experiencing a rash of theft’s of Car Top Signs, Pizza Bags and Uniforms in Northern Virginia. But NO actually robberies to the Drivers themselves. You’d be surprised what you can do and where you can go with a Car Top Sign on you car, while wearing a Uniform and carrying a Pizza Bag. Doors to the Most Securely Locked Facilities, somehow “Magically” remain Open and Unlocked by you mere presence…

  5. The idea of buying several cellphones from a private party should ring a bell to begin with. You are probably not going to meet with a law abiding, honest citizen

    • That was MY takeaway. The person looking to BUY “several” used cellphone would fit the profile of someone that needs a look at. Likely looking for “burners”.

      • Even if he is looking for “burners” it’s only because the gov’t bothers to interfere in the private transactions of individuals to begin with.

        Do you even freedom bro?

  6. Goochland, Virginia….really…Goochland…Gooch. JFC, this is the best idea you could come up with to name your town? Effectively, your town is Taintland.

    • As oppose to:

      1. Rough and Ready, CA.
      2. Suckpoo, ID.
      3. Mud Butte, SD.
      4. Candy Kitchen, NM.
      5. Satans Kingdom, VT.
      6. Why, AZ.
      7. No Name, CO.
      8. Two Egg, FL.
      9. Bugtussle, KT.
      10. Why Not, NC.
      11. Ding Dong, TX.

      Must of take real Thinking and/or Heavy Drinking to come up with those Names…

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