Online sellers lured to town, robbed
Two people who came to Trumbull to sell their off-road motorcycles instead had them stolen Wednesday in separate incidents about an hour apart, including one theft in which the suspect displayed a gun before taking off on the bike, police said.
The two sellers, one from New Haven and one from Orange, had placed ads on OfferUp, an online website commonly used to connect buyers and sellers. The site requires a minimal exchange of identification, police said.
Both sellers were contacted by a local male who claimed he was interested in buying their bike, and each agreed to meet in Trumbull, one on Wilson Avenue and the other on Green Street, to make the deal.
In both incidents the prospective buyer asked to take the motorcycle for a test ride. When the seller on Wilson Avenue refused the prospective buyer lifted his shirt to display a handgun stuffed into his waistband. He then rode off and never returned. The seller on Green Street started the engine and allowed the prospective buyer to sit on the motorcycle, but the prospective buyer rode off and never returned.
Trumbull police are warning area residents to use caution with such online sales websites, since several similar thefts have occurred recently when these sales meetings were arranged at public locations.
For additional information on safety and precautions when using internet sites to make
purchases or exchanges, go to craigslist.org/about/safety