West Seattle, Washington
One West Seattle case in the latest major-incident summaries from SPD. Police say this happened around 3 pm Monday afternoon in the 4500 block of 38th SW. The victim was selling items on OfferUp; he got a taker who said she would come to West Seattle to buy the items he was selling, Shortly after arrival, she looked at the items and, the report says, “had the victim follow her out to her car to get money.” She had an accomplice who subsequently “pulled out a handgun and stole the items the victim was selling.” The report adds, “She is described as a short female with black hair and blue strips in it” but doesn’t offer a description of the other robber; both got away. If you have any information for police, the incident number is 2022-250770.
For last few years, when I sell things on-line, I tell them to meet me in front of a bank with camera’s. If they don’t want to do that I won’t meet them. Makes it hard for big items. In that case, have as many people as you can with you at home or borrow a truck and go the nearest bank.And, I always lament to what this society has become when I have to resort to this tactic.
Searching the address listed in this post seems to be a pretty public location they choose to meet at with lots of traffic passing by. Seems those with bad intent don’t care if it’s daylight or not, secluded area or out in the open with lots of traffic passing by. Best to meet at the police station or as stated above somewhere where you know there is a surveillance camera that will capture their faces and/or getaway vehicle. Don’t ever have someone meet at your residence when selling an item to a stranger. Sorry to those who were victimized, but glad they weren’t severely physically hurt, no possession is worth your life.
Had several OfferUp transactions at convenience stores in broad daylight. Maximum chance interaction, no way for someone with ill intent to control a situation.
I think you can do it from the lobby of a police station. I highly recommend if the items are small enough to bring inside.
But is the Southwest Precinct even open? Last time I looked they had a note on the locked door saying there was nobody working in the lobby. And don’t even think about doing a deal in the Home Depot parking lot – where a guy recently had his catalytic converter stolen while parked next to the cop-shop fence! No safety there.
This is really discouraging to hear. I can’t believe how many handgun involved crime reports are in West Seattle, I don’t track the whole city to be fair. How traumatic for the seller. I’m fairly certain it’s people from other communities coming in based on past reports like the alki beach shooting last year, but it doesn’t matter – this is not a safe feeling. I have enough to consider whether or not to put in the extra effort to find special items a new home through an app like offer up, donate them knowing they might get thrown away, or trash them. Sometimes it’s not even about the money but hoping an item gets reused. I’m wondering if someone can post what the item type was and the amount they were asking? I’m just trying to see if there is a certain amount or item type I should avoid listing potentially! There’s an item I’m currently trying to sell where I already had one fishy contact and asked some follow-up questions that were not answered. The second one that seems legit given their purchase history but it’s also a little odd and suggested Venmo. No. Will definitely be choosing a public location. I have almost given up trying to resell things after being hassled by scammers on craigslist (involving money orders) and an initial offerup scammer trying to get me to create a Google phone account. Ugh. Buying however has been pretty easy…
OfferUp is where the sketchiest of the sketchy go to sell stolen goods. Stick with Freecycle, your neighborhood Buy Nothing group on Facebook, donate to Goodwill or an urban reclamation place or Seattle Recreative if it has value, and recycle if at all possible if not.
Pretty brazen to pull a gun in broad daylight. But then again, that is where we are with these sorts of thieves.
OfferUp is sketchy. The people who run it embrace the criminal element and it’s become a bit of an issue in the stolen bike recovery community. Buyer beware. Meet in public, well-lit places when they are crowded, use digital payments (don’t carry cash), and verify serial numbers before completing the transaction especially if it’s a bike. Personally, I recommend using Facebook buy/sell pages instead and only purchasing from people with profiles who have friends in the area. Check any bike you buy on OfferUp against bikeindex.org.
Did the report mention the race of the robbers?
If there had been additional descriptive information, we would have published it. What is quoted above is the entirety of the descriptive information in the police summary. – TR
I have used OfferUp quite a bit and have had my fair share of flakes and ghosts and can usually spot those that are going to be problematic prior to meeting. Any help keeping my old and physically impaired self safe is greatly appreciated…
OfferUp is even sketchier than CraigsList, if that’s possible. Still, what do you do if you need to sell something, especially larger items like furniture? There are lots of CL inquiries I never respond to, and for others, I do an internet search of the person’s name. If I can’t find a satisfactory profile, I don’t proceed.
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