Niagara Gazette

Columns

December 7, 2013

COPS NOTEBOOK: A holiday tale of woe

Niagara Gazette — In the spirit of the holiday season, allow me to offer some reminders when it comes to both buying and selling potential presents.

First, if you’re looking to score some quick cash by unloading your unwanted (or obsolete) electronics, take them to a reputable re-seller. Heck, take ‘em to the local pawn shop or buy and sell.

Never, though, rely on a friend of a friend who knows someone, sort of, who might want your stuff. As a 45-year-old Falls man learned this week, that usually ends up badly.

In this case, our erstwhile seller wanted to peddle his HP 6000 laptop on Craigslist. But his friend (whose last name he doesn’t know, must be a really close friend) told him he had another friend that would buy the “‘puter.”

First sign that this was sketchy? The sale was set to go down on a street corner. 

Oh yeah, and not just any corner. How about the corner of 18th Street and Niagara Avenue (didn’t know that was part of the downtown shopping district).

In any event, our seller and his bud drive down to the corner of 18th and Niagara Avenue at 1:54 a.m. Monday (prime time to sell merchandise, ask any retailer). When they arrived on the corner, the prospective buyer, clad in a hoodie and felony flyers, moseyed up to the window of the car

The suspect, I mean potential buyer, then reached through the car window and grabbed the computer off the seller’s lap. With the computer in his hands, the man we’ll now call a thief proceeded to run north toward Ontario Avenue.

Apparently shocked and dismayed by this disturbing turn of events, our seller’s first-name-only friend bolted from the car to give chase. A short time later, the friend texted the seller the following message: “I’m holding him down. Call the police.”

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