Meeting in-person for online purchase may be dangerous

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Gary Officials Urge Residents To Exercise Caution If Meeting In-Person To Make Purchases From On-Line Sites

City officials urge Gary citizens to be alert to the dangers that can be associated with making purchases from on-line social sites or unknown sources.

Gary Police continue to investigate a Sunday, December 20, 2015 homicide in the 3500 Block of W. 20th Avenue that was the result of a robbery gone wrong. Reports stated two men responded to a Craigslist Ad and went to the Gary west side location in the evening to make a related purchase. The men stated when they arrived at the location a man and a woman attempted to rob them and one of the men planning the purchase fired shots at the couple. The Lake County Coroner pronounced the man they went there to meet, deceased at the scene. The deceased was later identified as 22-year-old Brandon Johnson. The woman also suffered gunshots wounds, but was treated and released from the hospital the next day.

Gary Police stated, “If you are going to physically respond to a Craigslist Ad or agree to make a physical purchase from unknown persons or any unfamiliar on-line site, we urge residents to conduct such transactions at the Gary Police Station or even on the Public Safety Facility parking lot. The likelihood of being involved in a robbery attempt is lessened tremendously.”

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson reiterated, “Meeting people to make these type purchases is like shopping at an ‘on-line yard sale’, so please exercise caution and trust your instincts. Never meet any unknown person or persons in secluded or unfamiliar places; rather, choose congested areas or meet near businesses and yes, the Police Station is a great option.”

It is also suggested that money orders or cashier’s checks are used rather than cash if physically responding to Craigslist Ads or other sites.

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