KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
March 15, 2019
By Katrina Katsarelis
At around 2:45 p.m. on Thursday, a Katy woman arranged to meet a man who was interested in buying her cell phone at Target on Westheimer Parkway. The two parties connected via social media to sell the phone. "Upon meeting the potential buyer, he threw her down, took her phone and wallet," says Major Chad Norvell of the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office.
Bystanders at Target were surprised to see numerous patrol cars swarming Target and to learn of the the robbery in the middle of the day.
The woman, who has not been identified, met the man very close to the front of the parking lot in a busy area. It is not yet known if surveillance cameras captured the incident.
Safety in Buying and Selling Items
Although the vast majority of online meet ups like this one turn out fine, safety experts caution there is always a risk for danger.
Craiglist, an online marketplace site, has several recommendations for meeting unknown buyers and sellers and warns its users on how to conduct safe transactions to protect their personal safety.
Although the female Target victim, did not meet her buyer from a Craiglist ad, it appears she followed almost all of the recommended safety precautions with regard to meeting an unknown buyer or seller.
Insist on a public meeting place like a cafe, bank, or shopping center.
Do not meet in a secluded place, or invite strangers into your home.
Be especially careful 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.
We will update this story as details emerge.