Deserved or not, car dealers have a long and much-storied reputation as disreputable. But they do have one thing, at least, in their favor: To date, no car salesman has literally held a gun to your head.
That may actually become a selling point in Oakland, where the police department has issued a community alert about a series of robberies that occurred after victims, lured to a meeting place through Craiglist car ads, are held up at gunpoint.
From the Oakland Tribune:
Police are warning Craigslist users about a recent series of robberies -- some of which have turned violent -- related to ads for cars for sale posted on the popular website.
The ads have lured more than half a dozen victims from all over Northern California offering incredible deals on expensive-model cars, Oakland police spokeswoman Holly Joshi said. E-mails are exchanged and meetings are set up in the early afternoon or evening in different Oakland neighborhoods -- such as the Dimond and Rockridge districts -- to presumably conclude the purchase. Instead, police said, the victim is robbed at gunpoint and, in at least two cases, physically attacked. Full article
Here's a video report from KGO, in which OPD spokeswoman Holly Joshi says the frequency and violent intensity of the robberies has increased in the past few weeks.
You can read the OPD alert here. And from Craiglist, some safety guidelines:
When meeting someone for the first time, please remember to:
* Insist on a public meeting place like a cafe
* Do not meet in a secluded place, or invite strangers into your home
* Be especially careful when buying/selling high value items
* Tell a friend or family member where you're going
* Take your cell phone along if you have one
* Consider having a friend accompany you
* Trust your instincts
- Oakland Crimespotting - interactive map of criminal incidents in Oakland