HOUSTON – It has never been easier to directly buy from or sell to another person. But, police warn, it has also never been more dangerous.
On Christmas Day, a man named William was cooking dinner at his home in Midtown when a potential Craigslist buyer called.
This was not unusual.
“I have sold electronics in the past,” William said. “And furniture, golf clubs -- you know, just a variety of things.”
This time, William was selling an iPhone 7 for $500. He met a man and women near his home, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
“My perception was they were really nice people,” William said. “They asked, you know, how many gigs it was, you know, confirmed the generation (of the iPhone), condition, etc.”
They had cash in hand, and were in a white Toyota Corolla, in which the driver sat with the door open, “one foot in and one foot out,” William said.
But when the driver asked if he could test the subscriber identification module card, he grabbed the phone and stepped on the gas, dragging William along for the ride.
“As they took off, I just kind of fell into the car and they were pulling the door shut,” William said.
They drove about a half a block before a terrifying situation got worse.
“When that revolver was in my face,” William said, “I found some sort of extra strength I didn’t know I had to, kinda, just lunge back.”
He hit his head, broke his wrist and suffered road rash on his back, knee and elbow.
“I don’t know, if it was a second longer, if I would be dead,” William said. “I’m not really going to do those kinds of transactions anymore. It’s not really worth it.”
Crime Stoppers will pay a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the charging and/or arrest of the people in this case.
Information may be reported by calling 713-222-TIPS (8477) or submitted online at www.crime-stoppers.org.
Tips may also be sent via a text message by texting the following: TIP610 plus the information to CRIMES (274637) or via our mobile app, Crime Stoppers Houston. All tipsters remain anonymous.