Sting Operation Nabs Alleged Craigslist Thief

Credit: KCNC

An accused Craigslist thief has been arrested after police say they used the website against him.

Three times in the last week, people selling Apple products over Craigslist reported being contacted by a potential buyer, only to have their item stolen after meeting up.

The first two robberies both happened Sunday evening at the Walgreens on 4305 E. Platte in Colorado Springs, about an hour apart. Both times, police say the victim was contacted through Craigslist by someone interested in purchasing the iPhones the victim was selling. The victim in each case made arrangements to meet at the Walgreens on Platte.

Once there, both victims told police that they met with two black males, who both times asked to look at the phones before paying. After handing the phones over to the suspects, the victims say the men took off.

The third robbery happened the following evening at the Walgreens on 1920 S. Chelton. Springs police say the same thing happened to the elderly victim: he was selling an iPad mini on Craigslist, was contacted by a potential buyer, and agreed to meet at Walgreens. At Walgreens, the suspect asked to look at the iPad, then took off with it.

Detectives with the CSPD Property Crimes Unit placed an ad to sell an iPhone on Craigslist Tuesday. Police say they were contacted several hours later by someone saying he was interested in the phone. Detectives arranged to meet at the Walgreens on Chelton where the last victim had been robbed.

Police say at the meet-up, the suspect grabbed the iPhone from detective and tried to run. With the help of fellow detectives, patrol officers and a K-9 unit, the suspect was caught after a short chase and taken into custody. He has been identified as Alexander Mitchell and is expected to be charged with three counts of felony theft and one count of theft from an at-risk adult.

More arrests are anticipated.