Crime - Sacto 911

Unsuspecting resident’s home was site of Craigslist transaction turned robbery

An unsuspecting Sacramento resident found his home surrounded by police early Wednesday evening after it apparently was used as a meet-up site for a Craigslist transaction gone bad.

Sacramento police responded to a robbery report in the 1000 block of Ninth Avenue, west of Land Park, at 7:13 p.m. Sgt. Bryce Heinlein, police spokesman, said a man had gone to the residence to purchase a laptop computer he had seen advertised on Craigslist.

The man met the purported seller at the bottom of the driveway and the two went into the open garage at the house, Heinlein said. The “seller” went into the backyard at the home and reportedly returned with a gun. He took the buyer’s money and the buyer reported that he then heard gunshots.

The victim fled down the street and called police.

When officers arrived, they surrounded the house and called for the occupant to come outside. When the resident emerged, police found that he did not match the description of the robber.

Heinlein said the resident was unaware that a robbery had occurred on his property.

Officers searched the area but did not find the robber. Although people in the area reported hearing what sounded like gunshots, Heinlein said investigators found no evidence that shots had been fired.

Police have not determined why the residence was selected as the meeting place for the purported sales transaction, he said.

Law enforcement officials warn that meet-ups between buyers and sellers come with risks, particularly in transactions that originate online. In an effort to provide a safe meeting place, the West Sacramento Police Department announced this week that it has designated two parking spots in the department’s parking lot, which is under 24-hour surveillance, as an “exchange zone” for potentially dangerous transactions.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy