18-year-old killed in 5miles murder near Dallas

UPDATE 2/18/2018: Early last week two suspects were arrested and charged with Gerard Cage’s murder. They are 28-year-old Timothy Gordon Johnson and 29-year-old Nichelle Angeleane Scott-Dennis, both of Lancaster.

19-year-old killed in 5miles murder near Dallas

Over the weekend, 18-year-old Gerard Cage was shot and killed in Lancaster, Texas, after trying to buy a cell phone through the marketplace app 5miles. Gerard was said to have been shot by a man in a white Dodge pickup. At last report Gerard’s killer was still at large. The meeting place was said to be very public, but as we’ve seen in the past few years, that doesn’t stop people from robbing or killing their victims through apps like this.

Police are asking for the public’s assistance in finding Gerard’s killer.

The investigation is ongoing and Lancaster police are asking anyone with information to call Lancaster police at 972-218-2711.

Tragically, this isn’t the first murder committed through 5miles in the Dallas area. Back in late 2016, 33-year-old April Vancleave of Arlington, Texas, was shot and killed after trying to sell jewelry through 5miles. She was followed home by two men who intended on robbing her.

The difference between these murders and murders that have taken place through other apps is that 5miles has not only offered their condolences but publicly stated that they’d be helping local police.

“5miles” app told WFAA on Sunday night they are working to assist Lancaster PD in solving Cage’s killing.

“We’re saddened to hear about this young man and have been cooperating with the Lancaster P.D., providing the detective assigned to this case with requested information and support,” the company said in a statement.

When has craigslist ever reached out to the public positively when one of the 100+ victims have been killed through their platform?

5miles also offers a safety feature that many similar apps do not. The app has an option that recommends a safe meeting place which includes police stations. The only other platform I know of that offers a similar service is, friend of the site, Geebo.com who provides a link to SafeTrade Stations in every ad.

My prayers and condolences go out to Gerard’s friends and family. Hopefully his killer will be brought to justice swiftly.

2nd arrest made in murder of Texas mother who used classifieds app

2nd arrest made in murder of Texas mother who used classifieds app

April Vancleave

(Story broke 6/16/2017)

33-year-old April Vancleave of Arlington, Texas, was shot and killed around Christmastime last year after trying to sell some items on classifieds app 5miles. She was trying to make enough money to buy her 6-year-old daughter a Christmas present. This was an unusual story because Ms. Vancleave did everything right when going to meet the purported buyers. She met them during the day, at a Target store and brought her husband with her. When the sellers didn’t show, her husband dropped her off back at home and he went back to work. Two men had followed her from Target and robbed her before shooting and killing her.

Back in February, police arrested 33-year-old Mario Hernan Lopez Gamez. Recently, the second suspect in Ms. Vancleave’s murder was arrested. Today, U.S. Marshals arrested a man going by the name of Alex Menor Diaz, who they believe is Gamez’s alleged accomplice. He was brought to the attention of authorities by Ms. Vancleave’s family after going through Gamez’s Facebook friends list. Diaz may be using an alias and investigators are still trying to determine his true identity. He is currently being held on $1 million bond.

While this story is a rare type of craigslist-like killing, it does show how dangerous it can be to do business with online strangers in real life. Again, while no plan is absolutely perfect, the best option when making these type of transactions is to do them at your local police station.

Texas mother murdered after using classifieds app, even after doing all the right things

Texas mother murdered after using classifieds app, even after doing all the right things

April Vancleave

33-year-old April Vancleave of Arlington, Texas, was shot and killed near her home after trying to sell some items on a craigslist-like app. April was trying to sell some jewelry through an app called 5miles, in order to make some money so she could buy a Christmas present for her 6-year-old daughter. Ms. Vancleave even did all the right things that one should do when selling an item online through a classifieds app or site.

When she went to meet the buyer in public no one showed up to meet with her, so her husband dropped her off at home and he returned to work. Police say that two men followed her to her apartment complex, robbed her, and shot her. The suspects are still at large and a $10,000 reward is being issued for information leading to their capture.

Here is surveillance video from the Arlington Police.

Anyone who recognizes the men seen in the video or has information about the incident that left Vancleave dead is asked to contact Arlington police at 817-459-5735.

Anonymous tips can also be made by calling Crime Stoppers at 817-469-8477.

April’s family has also set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for her funeral expenses.

This is not an indictment against 5miles. It seems like a decent app with user profiles, which is more than craigslist can say however, as this story shows, you can take all the necessary precautions when dealing with online classifieds and still risk being the victim of a crime. While this story is a rare case, it still speaks volumes as to the dangers adherent when dealing with strangers and money online.

I’ll post more details as they become available and as time allows.

(Thanks to Lady Gray for the editorial assist.)

UPDATE 2/13/2017: 33-year-old Mario Hernan Lopez Gamez has been arrested in April Vancleave’s death. The second suspect is still at large.

Police were able to identify Gamez after another victim said that he had robbed her through another app called OfferUp. Gamez is looking at capital murder charges.