Local law enforcement officials in Oakland have uncovered a ring of jewel thieves using Craigslist as a way to make “robberies by appointment,” as FBI agent Paul Healy referred to the ingenious scam.
Thieves would set up an appointment to buy diamonds and various other types of expensive jewels and jewelry from people living all over the country. Then, they would set up and send a limousine that is supposed to bring the unwitting victims to a public place (like a bank or jewelry store). Meanwhile, en route, the thieves would waylay the limousine and rob the unsuspecting seller at gunpoint, taking the goods for themselves.
Federal charges have now been levied against at least 4 different men who committed these crimes in the Bay area and all the way to Indiana and Wisconsin. They have been charged with attempted robbery affecting interstate commerce (18 US Code 1951), conspiracy to commit robbery (same), and with aiding and abetting. Penalties could be hefty fines and a 20-year prison sentence.