Teens robbed after supposed meet-up for car sale via Facebook

Teens robbed after supposed meet-up for car sale via Facebook

VIDALIA, GA (WTOC) - How many of us have bought a purse or a table we found on Craigslist or Facebook?

People in and around Vidalia will soon have a safe place make those deals, with police close by. It will come after two teens got the scare of their lives.

These days, you can find just about anything you want to buy on social media - from children's clothes to furniture to boats to cars. Two teens from Dublin got a shock this past weekend when they came here to Vidalia to buy a car they saw on Facebook.

Instead of the Mustang they wanted, a car showed up and the men inside jumped out with guns.

"One on the passenger side and one on the driver's side. And that's where the trouble started and they lost their cash, keys and cell phones," said Capt. Kim Williamson, Vidalia Police Department.

Vidalia police moved on a tip and located three suspects in Tattnall County and arrested them with more arrests pending. Meanwhile, the department already had a transaction zone in the works for people making sales.

"Because if they won't meet you there, you probably don't need whatever it is they have," said Vidalia Police Chief Frank Waits.

Chief Waits also suggests stepping inside before your deal to alert a dispatcher to keep an eye out.

"Instead of walking in five to 10 minutes later asking to review the video because I just got robbed," said Chief Waits.

For folks outside Vidalia, Williamson still has advice. Pick a busy, well-lit area to meet for a transaction.

"Never go alone, always carry someone with you or two people. You always want to be on the safe side. Don't assume everyone is a good person," said Capt. Williamson.

Chief Waits says they'll have the cameras pointed at the transaction zone and hopefully give people a place to feel safe.

This isn't only in Vidalia. A lot of other local law enforcement agencies also provide safe zones for you.

The Liberty and Effingham County Sheriff's Office offers their parking lots as a "Craigslist & E-Commerce Safe Zones."

Savannah-Chatham Metro Police say you can use their headquarters or one of their precincts, and you can use their parking lot or go inside.

Beaufort police ask that you use the lobby of their station on Boundary Street during business hours, and it's also monitored by surveillance video.

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