Thief Uses iPad, Honda Civic To Draw Unknowing Victims Out

IRVINGTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — He’s a very cagey crook.

Police say a robber knew full well that people coming out to buy expensive items advertised on craigslist would have their pockets full of cash.

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And as CBS 2’s John Slattery reports, he took full advantage.

The police released an image of the suspect on Monday. They said he used items on craigslist to bait victims.

“The Internet is allowing them to use modern technology. You lure them out and rob them,” Irvington Police Chief Michael Chase said.

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Police said the first of three scams took place on Carolina Avenue in March. That’s when the new iPad had just been released and on craigslist one was advertized for hundreds of dollars below retail.

Irvington robbery suspect

This is the man believed to be using craigslist to rob people in Irvington, N.J. (Photo: Irvington Police Department))

A would-be customer showed up and police believe the suspect fleeced him.

“He got robbed of a couple of hundred dollars and a cell phone,” Chief Chase said.

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Police have grainy surveillance tape on Orange Place, where twice this month a Honda Civic was used as bait and the prospective buyer drove up.

“When the individual approached weapon in hand, he had the presence of mind to put his foot on the accelerator and got away,” Chief Chase said.

According to Det. Wayne Alston, the following words were spoken by a suspect who was holding a gun on May 7: “Give me your keys and get out of the car.”

Last Thursday, in the same area, the same Honda Civic ad attracted two other would-be buyers, both of whom were robbed of cash and a cell phone.

At that time, police said, a neighbor thought something was fishy and got a camera.

“Had the presence of mind to get a 35mm camera and got a very good shot of the face of the suspect in the commission of the robbery and that person called us,” Chief Chase said.

The suspect is said to be 5-foot-10 to 6-foot with a beard and 180 to 200 pounds.

Three Irvington men were arrested in January for using a similar scheme to commit a robbery in South Orange.

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