A botched Craigslist robbery in Aiken, South Carolina, has left one shooting suspect dead and his accomplice at large. According to Opposing Views, the Craigslist robber — identified as 23-year-old Frank Frazier, Jr. — was shot and killed after he and an unidentified suspect attempted to rob a couple they’d lured via Craigslist.
It has been reported that the two Craiglist robbers posted a deceptive advertisement on the site insisting they were selling a car. Although no screenshot of the advertisement has been shared, the seemingly attractive deal was enough to entice the couple. According to Fox Carolina, the couple scheduled to meet the presumed sellers of the vehicle at an Aiken gas station, but were met with quite a surprise upon arrival.
The two suspects approached them and to complete the purchase. But, when the couple attempted to pay them, they drew weapons, held them at gunpoint, and demanded money without the sale of the vehicle. However, things took an unexpected turn when Frazier aimed the gun toward the male victim. The female victim made a quick move, drew her weapon, and shot Frazier. The second suspect immediately fled after Frazier was shot.
According to WJBF, Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt has stated that the Aiken County Dispatch received a 911 call in reference to shots being fired. When Aiken County deputies arrived at the scene they found a man — whom Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton later identified as Frank Frazier, Jr. — suffering from the gunshot wound. Shortly after, he was pronounced dead at the scene. Aiken County investigators, along with the Aiken Bloodhound Tracking Team, and Aiken Department of Public Safety officers were called to the scene to search for the second Craigslist robber, but to no avail. It has been reported that he is still at large. However, the couple went unharmed.
The most recent Craigslist incident follows a string of other highly-publicized incidents involving advertisements used to lure victims. There have been numerous reports about robberies, money scams, and even murders that stemmed from deceptive Craigslist advertisements. In fact, now-deceased convicted serial killer Philip Haynes Markoff, who is responsible for robbing and killing three female victims after luring them with Craiglist ads, has been widely referred to as the “Craigslist Killer.”
Back in October of last year, Fox News published a report about the dangers of social media and sites like Craigslist where people have been known to step outside of the cyber world to meet in person.
While some interactions have been amicable and innocuous, there have been others haven’t gone so well. In the report, Raymond Foster — a retired LAPD lieutenant, and expert in police technology — discussed the evolution of more sophisticated crimes with the evolution of the internet.
“All traditional crime has migrated to the Internet — robbery is robbery and scams are scams,” Foster told Fox News. “The Internet allows criminals to cast a wider net and allows them anonymity.”
Robert Siciliano, a security expert with BestHomeSecurityCompanys.com, admitted that he, too, loves to shop via Craigslist. But, he also stressed the importance of being cautious when interacting with buyers and sellers on the site. He also offered insightful ways internet users can take precautions to avoid being compromised.
“I’m constantly on Craigslist,” Siciliano admitted. “For every 10,000 transactions that go on every day, maybe one of them goes bad,” he said.
“However, as a Craigslist consumer, there’s always a chance you’re going to be dealing with someone who is desperate. And desperate people do desperate things. Because there is that chance, you need to exercise as much caution as possible,” he said. “Whenever I invite someone to my property, I find out as much as I can about that person before they get there. They text me and I call them so I have their number. Then I Google their number and find out what their name is. I look them up on Facebook to see who they are.”
[Image via Aiken County Sheriff’s Office]