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Man Responding to Craigslist Ad Punched, Robbed at La Mesita Park

A 21-year-old man agreed to buy two MacBook laptops he found on Craiglist, but was punched in the face and robbed when he met the seller at La Mesita Park.

A young man who responded to an ad on Craigslist Thursday evening was attacked and robbed after agreeing to meet the seller at , police said.

La Mesa police said the 21-year-old victim drove to the park with a friend to purchase two MacBook computers, and found two men sitting inside a 1996 Honda Accord when he arrived. After approaching the vehicle, police say both suspects got out of the car and one pulled out a box cutter and demanded the victim’s money.

Police said the victim handed the suspect $2,100 at the same time that two other suspects appeared from behind the nearby bathroom building. Officials said the victim was punched in the face before all four suspects returned to the car and drove away. The victim was not injured.

According to police, the Honda is reported to have recently been purchased from a dealership in Tijuana, and has a license plate number of 3STU216. The suspects were last seen driving east on Dallas Street toward Fletcher Parkway.

The first suspect is described as a Hispanic male, 19 years old, 5-9, 140 pounds, with long dark curly hair. He was wearing tan shorts and a blue shirt, and his right arm was sleeved with tattoos.

The second suspect is described as a Hispanic male, 20-25 years, 5-9, 150 pounds, with long dark curly hair. He was wearing a black baseball cap, a black shirt and tan shorts, and his left arm was sleeved with tattoos.

Suspects three and four are described as Hispanic males wearing dark clothing.

In an apparently unrelated event earlier Thursday, El Cajon police said another man was robbed after agreeing to meet someone to sell his MacBook computer. According to the report, the victim met the potential buyers around noon outside of The Beef ‘n’ Bun Whistle Stop at 2477 Fletcher Parkway―less than two miles away from La Mesita Park.

Administrative Lt. Mark Coit of the El Cajon Police Department said it’s unclear whether the suspect showed or pointed a gun at the victim, but that the victim became aware of a weapon.

After taking the MacBook, the suspects drove off on Chatham Street toward La Mesa in a black four-door BMW.

The driver is described as a middle-eastern male, approximately 21 years old.

The passenger is described as a white male, 17 years, 5-7, wearing tan Dickies shorts and long black socks.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the La Mesa Police Department at 619-667-1400. Or you may also call Crime Stoppers’ anonymous toll-free tip line 888-580-TIPS (or sdcrimestoppers.com). You can remain anonymous, and be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest in this case.

Elaine C. July 08, 2011 at 01:23 PM
I assumed meeting in a public place would be safe. So this is good information to have, especially when there is a lot of money involved.
michele grace hottel July 08, 2011 at 04:14 PM
Please people, do not go anywhere with large amounts of cash, and don't go anywhere with large amounts of money to meet people for anything, anywhere. That said, do not go and meet people that you have met on the internet at all. IT ISN"T SAFE!!!!
Thughunter July 08, 2011 at 05:53 PM
Elaine, although this is considered a "public place" it's actually a poor choice of a public location. AT 8:30 at night, a sparsely populated park is NOT the place to close a transaction that already should have sounded too good to be true. Twenty one is still young enough to be too naive to not realize the inherent dangers in the world. Next time, meet in a place MUCH more public than that, Meet in broad daylight. Meet where there are lots of people around. Meet where there are surveilance cameras watching. Take friends or family with you. Use your head. If it sounds too good to be true, you're about to ne mugged!
Annie Lane July 08, 2011 at 07:40 PM
This story has been updated. According to the El Cajon Police Department, an apparently unrelated robbery of a man with a MacBook computer took place at noon on Thursday at 2477 Fletcher Parkway. Suspects drove off toward La Mesa.
Robert Johnson July 08, 2011 at 09:15 PM
The only public place to meet someone is where they have security cameras (and maybe even a security guard), such as the lobby of a bank.
Thughunter July 08, 2011 at 09:19 PM
Right on Robert, maybe even the parking lot at the local police station. If the seller balks at such a public place with so much law enforcement in the immediate area, then maybe it's a sign that you're either buying stolen merchandise or the seller was up to no good. There's a lot a buyer can do to minimize risk. Meeting in a park just before nightfall is NOT one of them.
Retired PEJEAN July 11, 2011 at 11:20 PM
Meet in front of LMPD station. Get a clue!

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