GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- A Rockford man was robbed while trying to sell a handgun to someone he met online.
It happened around 11:00 p.m. Saturday night, near an apartment complex on Tangle Circle Drive SE in Grand Rapids.
Grand Rapids Police say the 53-year-old had originally contacted a buyer through a peer to peer website for gun sales. He agreed to meet a potential buyer for the gun at the apartment complex.
While he was looking for the buyer, someone came up behind him and robbed him of the gun he was selling. Police continue to investigate the robbery.
Grand Rapids Police would like to remind anyone using peer to peer sales websites to take these precautions:
- Complete as much of the transaction as possible via established sites that have built in safeguards (user registration, feedback systems, buyer support).
- Conduct transactions in well-populated areas and during daylight hours. Areas that are video recorded may provide additional deterrent to criminal behavior.
- Meet in locations that you are familiar with.
- Know who you are meeting, what they look like, and how they will be arriving to the site.
- Use a third party to complete the transaction if needed. (In this specific case some Federal Firearms dealers may assist in a gun sale for a processing fee).
- Criminals may target an over eager seller or buyer, in hopes that the desire to complete a deal will encourage risk taking. As always, "if it seems too good to be true it probably is."