Victim of armed Craigslist robber shares warning - New York News

Victim of armed Craigslist robber shares warning

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Many people use Craigslist to buy and sell various things, but one man who was robbed by a Craigslist seller at gunpoint is sharing his story in the hopes that it will help keep others safe.

St. Paul police have not released the mug shot of the man charged with murder after an armed robbery left a Craigslist buyer dead because they are still trying to determine if he was involved in three similar robberies. The victim who spoke with FOX 9 News said his experience was so similar, he had to speak out.

A Craigslist ad, an iPhone for sale, and a Glock handgun -- that's what the victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, experienced.

"The guy pointed a gun in my stomach," he recalled, "pointing it right at my gut."

Though he was able to hand over his money and run, 19-year-old Aung Bo was not so fortunate last weekend. Investigators say 26-year-old Steven Emmanuel Lewis was holding a gun to Bo's head when he reached forward to search Bo's pockets and the gun went off.

The victim who spoke with FOX 9 News said he had no previous problems using Craigslist before he placed an ad to buy iPhones on Craigslist. Eventually, he went to the same St. Paul neighborhood where Bo was shot -- in fact, he was only a few blocks away from where Bo was shot when he met his robber in broad daylight with people nearby.

Like Bo, the victim said he was hesitant and didn't feel right, but he decided to go ahead anyway.

"I mean, when I got to the neighborhood, it was a rough neighborhood," he said. "That's when I probably should have just got in my car and drove away and said, 'Forget about it. It's not worth it.'"

Instead, his story would fill one of three police reports that show a similar robbery pattern to the one that ended in Bo's death.

He still plans to use Craigslist, but he is trying to share what he has learned. From now on, he will only meet people where there are security cameras or at a nearby police station.

"If they have nothing to hide, they'll do the exchange right in front of the police station," he said.

So far, it's already worked for him because he got another call about that same ad from another person and suggested to meet there.

"I said, 'Great! You're in Brooklyn Center. Let's meet at the Brooklyn Center police station and we'll do the exchange," he said. "Never heard from him again."

A fund has been established for the family of Aung Bo. Donations can be sent by mail to the Aung Bo Memorial Fund or dropped off at Topline Federal Credit Union, located at 976 Lexington Ave., in St. Paul.

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