The holidays are here and the Milwaukee Police Department wants you to be safe as you search for a gift, especially online. According to Captain Chad Wagner, of MPD’s Central Investigations Division, robbers often use websites like Craigslist to set up unsuspecting victims. Buyers should be especially alert with the recent releases of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One video game consoles. Captain Wagner and his team of investigators saw an increase in Craigslist robberies when previous generations of the popular gaming systems were released. “We have already had similar robberies since the new systems were released and will have several more,” Capt. Wagner says.
Milwaukee Police recently arrested a 29-year-old Milwaukee man for a Craigslist-related armed robbery. The victim, a 27-year-old male, was selling an Xbox and met the suspect in the 6400 block of W. Silver Spring Drive around 10:45 am on December 14 to conduct the transaction. The suspect pulled out a handgun, pointed it at the victim, and walked off with the Xbox. Officers were able to make contact with the suspect via text messaging, posing as potential buyers of the Xbox. The suspect met the officers, in plain clothes, later that afternoon and was taken into custody. The victim’s stolen Xbox was recovered from the suspect.
There are steps you can take to protect yourself from becoming the victim of a robbery. District Captains at all seven Milwaukee Police Department Districts have offered to let people meet in the lobbies of their station to conduct these types of transactions. If that’s not possible, try and meet in a public area during daylight hours where security cameras are likely to be present. Captain Wagner says there’s safety in numbers so it’s always a good idea to have someone go along with you to the transaction.
If you spot suspicious persons or activity, or are the victim of a robbery, immediately call the Milwaukee Police Department.