OAKLAND -- A married couple who came to Oakland on Tuesday thinking they were going to buy a luxury car advertised on Craigslist were instead robbed at gunpoint and forced out of the vehicle on a busy freeway, police said.
The couple, who live in another East Bay city police would not identify, saw the ad for a Mercedes on Craigslist and made contact Monday with the person identified as the seller and finalized the transaction.
The couple met the seller at the Lake Merritt BART station about 11:30 a.m. and went with him in the car to a bank to get cash to buy the car. Police would not give the exact amount but did say it was several thousand dollars.
The couple got into the car for a test drive during which the so-called seller used a ruse to stop to pick up another man not far from the bank. The couple was in the back seat and the suspects in the front.
While driving in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 580 both men drew guns and stopped on the shoulder near the Fruitvale Avenue exit. The couple was robbed of the cash, electronic items and other property before being forced out of the car.
The suspects drove off and the couple walked down the off-ramp and contacted police.
The incident was the latest in a series of Craigslist related robberies.
Police have several tips that hopefully will prevent such heists and help apprehend suspects.
One is to keep a copy of the Craigslist ad. Also, the buyer should say
Also, don't deal in cash. Get a cashier's check or money order that has to be negotiated at a bank. And make sure the vehicle has license plates, not paper plates or no plates at all.
Police and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering up to $7,500 in reward money for information leading to the arrests of the suspects. Anyone with information, can call police at 510-238-3326 or Crime Stoppers at 510-777-8572 or 510-777-3211.