(Story broke 6/19/2017)
21-year-old Zack Finch was shot and killed on the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, on Father’s day while trying to buy a cell phone. Zack was using the classifieds app LetGo which has been involved in at least two other murders in its short life. Much like the recent craigslist killing of Brian Brown in Florida, Zack Finch was another athlete who had a bright future ahead of him. Instead he was gunned down by greedy cowards looking to make a fast buck regardless of the cost of life.
As I’ve said before, the old rules to making these transactions don’t apply anymore as Zack was shot in broad daylight in public. If you insist on using any of these classifieds sites or apps, please meet the other person involved at a police station. Most police stations now have areas set up specifically for these transactions.
A GoFundMe has been set up for Zack’s funeral expenses.
So far no arrests have been made.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call 704-432-TIPS and speak to a homicide detective.
My thoughts, prayers, and condolences go out to the friends and family of Zack Finch.
UPDATE 7/21/2017: Two unnamed 15-year-old have been arrested and charged with Zack Finch’s murder. Police say it appeared that there was no struggle and Zack Finch was simply shot on sight.
UPDATE 1/9/2018: One of the 15-year-olds, Jahzion Wilson, has been charged as an adult with Zachary Finch’s murder. Also charged was another unnamed 15-year-old and 17-year-old Demonte McCain.
16-year-old Jamaa Khalik Scott of Richmond, Virginia, was shot and killed outside of a middle school after he went to meet someone who he thought he would be buying an iPhone from. Scott found the phone on the classifieds app LetGo. One witness and friend of Scott said Scott allegedly couldn’t afford the phone and planned on grabbing the phone and running. When the seller showed up, a struggle ensued, resulting in Scott being shot. The gunman was said to have picked up something off the ground before fleeing the scene. While the killing took place in Mid-April there still have been no arrests. Henrico County Police have asked LetGo for their help in finding the killer.
While there may be no good guys in this story, I have to add stealing a smart phone is not exactly a perfect crime. There are a multitude of ways smart phones can be tracked, and more than likely I doubt your average thief can think of all of them. The number of stories where cell phone thieves are caught are numerous and varied and usually end up in jail time for the thief. So the next time you think about stealing that phone, ask yourself if it’s worth the jail time, or in this case, the funeral.
I originally posted about the murder of 51-year-old Sam Norman here. Mr. Norman was shot and killed in DeKalb County, Georgia, earlier this month after going to meet someone he thought was selling a drone on the mobile marketplace app LetGo.
Yesterday, DeKalb County police announced that they had made an arrest but did not release any information about it. Today, it was announced that two suspects have been arrested for Mr. Norman’s murder. The suspects are 18-year-old Cicero Smith and an unnamed 15-year-old juvenile. Investigators were able to subpoena the user information from LetGo which led them to Smith. A search of Smith’s home is said to have turned up drone parts that were used in the ad. Smith is also believed to have shot Mr. Norman in the chest. Mr. Norman was said to have given pursuit in his vehicle before succumbing to his injuries. No word yet on if the juvenile will be charged as an adult.
As free apps like these become more prolific, and as more people ignore the safety issues, we will only see more bloodshed. Much like craigslist, since the barrier of entry to these apps is nil, it’s an easy allure for criminals looking to make a quick buck through robbery. However, hopefully the fact that LetGo assisted police in finding the suspect will let criminals know that they can be found.
51-year-old Sam Norman was shot to death last week in DeKalb County, Georgia, after planning to meet someone who claimed to be selling a drone on the LetGo app. If you haven’t seen their commercials, LetGo is a craigslist competitor in app form. Mr. Norman went to meet someone who was purportedly selling a drone, instead Mr. Norman was found in his truck having been shot to death.
Police are still searching for Mr. Norman’s killer and has been described by a witness as a man wearing a white T-shirt and a black hat. Investigators are combing LetGo for any possible leads.
Just because apps like LetGo and 5miles look slick and professional, and aren’t craigslist, doesn’t mean that the old rules don’t apply anymore. Meet during the day somewhere that is as public as possible, preferably at your local police station. Once some new facet of technology comes along, it doesn’t take very long for criminals to try to take advantage of it. Unfortunately, that sometimes can cost someone their life.
UPDATE 3/13/2017: An arrest has been made in Mr. Norman’s murder, however DeKalb County police have not released the alleged suspect’s name.