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Howard Co. police arrest teen in Craigslist theft scheme

Thursday - 7/18/2013, 3:39pm  ET

WASHINGTON - A 17-year-old has been charged with robbery and theft in connection with three incidents related to ads on Craigslist.

Howard County police say the Ellicott City suspect placed an ad on Craigslist selling an iPhone 5.

In the first incident, the teen met with a woman in the 5300 block of Kerger Road to sell the phone. After the victim discovered the iPhone 5 box was empty, the suspect pushed her to the ground, grabbed her money and ran. The woman was able to grab the suspect's backpack, which contained a student ID card.

In a second incident, the suspect arranged a trade of an iPhone 5 for an electronic gaming system. The suspect asked to test the system, which resulted in the theft of the system.

The suspect was also linked to an unreported theft of $200 from another victim responding to a Craigslist ad.

The teen has been charged with three counts of theft, robbery, second-degree assualt and operating a theft scheme.

Howard County police remind residents to use caution when responding to Craigslist ads and recommends the following:

  • Deal locally with buyers or sellers you can meet in person.
  • Never wire funds via Western Union or any other wire service.
  • Never give out personal or financial information.
  • Pick a public place for your meeting and get there early.
  • Park far enough away that the person will have less of a chance of seeing what car you drive.

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