PHONY CRAIGSLIST AD LEADS TO MURDER
A 27-year-old man was reportedly shot and killed in Philadelphia last week after he responded to a Craigslist ad.
According to NBC Philadelphia, Daniel Cook of Williamstown, N.J., had traveled to Philadelphia with his girlfriend and another companion on Friday to check out an all-terrain vehicle that had been advertised on the classified ads website. He was then shot twice by the man who was selling the ATV, police say.
The seller allegedly lured Cook away from his friends to see the vehicle before shooting him. Cook, who was found dead by emergency responders, is believed to have been robbed.
A 23-year-old man named Thomas Coffee has since been arrested and charged in Cook’s murder. According to PhillyBurbs.com, Coffee has a “long history of arrests for violent crimes and weapons offenses.” In 2011, he was sentenced to a minimum of 168 days in prison, Fox News reports.
In response to the murder, the Philadelphia Police Department posted a list of safety tips on its blog Monday, warning residents to be vigilant when making purchases online.
“[A]ny time you meet with a stranger — especially when money is involved — there are risks,” the post states. “While these risks can’t be eliminated, there are certain steps one can take to minimize them. Far too often, the Philadelphia Police Department takes reports from victims of fraud, robbery, and sometimes — worse. These seemingly harmless exchange of goods have unfortunately become tragedies.”
A spokeswoman for the police department told The Huffington Post that “[safety tips would] be a good thing to get out there to the public” in light of the recent tragedy.
Indeed, this isn’t the first time in recent memory that the use of Craigslist has led to violence.
In April, a “self-styled street preacher” named Richard Beasley was sentenced to death for killing three men after posting fake job offers on the ad website. In March, three teens were slapped with long prison sentences for robbing and murdering an 18-year-old who had responded to a bogus Craigslist ad in 2011.