Champaign police investigating recent reports of Craigslist-related robberies

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CHAMPAIGN - The Champaign Police Department is investigating several reports of robberies that have happened after victims responded to a Craigslist ad posting for the purpose of buying various items.

Champaign police say each case involved a victim who responded to the ad, and agreeing to meet at an apartment parking lot near Valley Road in Champaign.  Upon arriving, police say the victims were robbed of their money by an armed individual.

Authorities say the suspect in these incidents is described as an African-American male, between 18 and 25 years of age, standing between 5'9" and 5'11", having a thin or slender build, and being armed with a handgun.

Police are offering citizens who conduct these meetings the following safety tips to help reduce the risk of becoming a victim of a similar crime:

- Meet in a secure, public place; stay away from secluded places and avoid inviting strangers into your home
- Take your cell phone with you, and tell friends and family where you're going
- Don't wire funds, don't give out financial information, and don't extend payment to anyone you haven't met in person
- Use extra caution when buying and selling high-value items
- Trust your instincts

If you have any information on these robberies, you are asked to contact Crime Stoppers by calling (217) 373-8477 or visiting their website here.

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