Virginia man killed in LetGo robbery, suspect still at large

Virginia man killed in LetGo robbery, suspect still at large

Joshua Grey

It’s been a while since I posted about a craigslist-like murder. In my absence, I’ve probably missed more than a few. Unfortunately, another one has happened recently. Last week, 23-year-old Joshua Grey was shot and killed after listing his iPhone for sale on the marketplace app LetGo. Joshua was said to have met his assailant alone at a local intersection in Richmond, Virginia. The killer shot Joshua and then took his iPhone. Joshua was able to get to a nearby convenience store where he tragically died from his injuries.

Police in Richmond have released surveillance video of Joshua’s alleged killer and are looking for the public’s help in bringing the man to justice. The video can be seen at this link. Richmond Police are asking for the public’s help in finding Joshua’s killer.

Anyone with any information about this homicide to call Major Crimes Detective T. Coates at (804) 646-0729 or contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000 or at http://www.7801000.com. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones may also be used. All Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.

Again I have to stress that if you use any classifieds site or app it’s imperative that you meet the other person involved in the transaction at a local police department. Many police stations have set up public meeting zones at their locations to better protect those buying and selling through classifieds. Some of these websites and apps have even set up listings of safe places to conduct these transactions. As I’ve said in the past, the old rules don’t apply anymore. Just meeting someone in public during the day isn’t enough anymore as the thieves and killers who inhabit sites like craigslist and apps like LetGo have stepped up their aggression in recent years leaving hundreds of bodies in their wake.

Texas man found dead after leaving to sell car on craigslist

Texas man found dead after leaving to sell car on craigslist

Terrell Funches

UPDATE 2/11/2018: 20-year-old Terrell Funches and an unnamed 15-year-old girl have been charged in the murder Atlaf Malik. Authorities were able to trace the suspects back through the LetGo app. So is this now a LetGo murder?

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Houston man found dead after leaving to sell car on craigslist

The body of 43-year-old Altaf Malik, of Richmond, Texas, was found in a dumpster in Houston. Mr. Malik had been missing for days after leaving to sell his car on craigslist. Authorities say that he had sustained repeated stab wounds. A GoFundMe has been set up to help assist with his family. Mr. Malik left behind four children. So far, no suspect has been apprehended.

Anyone with information should call Houston Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS, HPD homicide division at 713-308-3600 or Fort Bend County at 281-342-TIPS.

According to the Craigslist Killings – Craigslist Safety Blog, this would be the 122nd murder contributed to craigslist.

Craigslist is no longer the friendly neighborhood classifieds is was back in the late 90s. Now that it’s a website with a global reach, it’s been a haven for killers and other violent criminals.

Classifieds crime blotter 12/7/2017

Classifieds crime blotter 12/7/2017

Cloned iPhone X costs Chandler couple big:
Arizona. OfferUp. Knock off iPhones being sold online are actually Android phones. You can read more about it here as well.

Police: Teens shot attempting to steal during meetup to buy jewelry:
San Antonio, Texas. OfferUp. They’ll live.

Rural Brandon man arrested for apartment rental scam:
Iowa. 43-year-old Gregory Todd Selken is charged with allegedly renting an apartment he didn’t own on craigslist.

Man accused of sex trafficking girls out of a motel:
21-year-old Elijah Teel of San Antonio allegedly prostituted an underage girl on Backpage.

Man shot during Garfield Heights robbery arranged through OfferUp, police say:
Ohio. OfferUp. Victim shot in the hand.

Newark man falls victim to $3,400 Craigslist scam:
Delaware. Scammers used fake account on app to electronically transfer money to the victim. Probably Venmo if I had to guess.

Craigslist renters rent the same home:
Grand Rapids, Michigan. Michael Alan Hite accused of allegedly renting out a home he didn’t own to several people.

Police: Teens rob man during online marketplace exchange:
Flint, Michigan. Man robbed of Apple Watch during LetGo exchange.

Two teens accused of beating man with crowbar during robbery:
Columbus, Ohio. OfferUp.

Arrests made in California LetGo murder

Arrest made in California LetGo murder

Fortune and Patton

I originally posted about the murder of Daniel Carlos here. The 32-year-old father and husband was shot and killed in a San Leandro, California, parking lot after trying to sell his iPhone to someone from LetGo. Now, arrests have been made in Mr. Carlos’ murder.

18-year-olds Marcus Fortune and Jason Patton have been arrested and charged with Mr. Carlos’ murder. Fortune is believe to have allegedly pulled the trigger while Patton was the driver. Fortune is even said to have admitted to his involvement in the crime although that is not a guilty plea. He says that this was supposed to be a ‘take and go’.

Again, this crime took place in a public place in broad daylight and Mr. Carlos was still killed for something as minor as an iPhone. The old rules no longer apply as criminals are willing to take any number of lives in order to get whatever shiny trinket is being offered up. Use your local police station to complete any transaction of this nature.

California man shot for his iPhone in LetGo killing

California man shot for his iPhone in LetGo killing

Back in mid-November, 32-year-old Daniel Carlos of Redwood City, California was shot and killed in San Leandro, California. He was shot and killed by after meeting someone who was willing to buy his iPhone through the LetGo app. Police say there were multiple suspects, and as far as I can tell they are still at large. Mr. Carlos left behind a wife and 5-year-old daughter.

LetGo is starting to rack up a disturbing body count in a short amount of time. If I had to hazard a guess I’d say they might even break craigslist’s record in a shorter amount of time.

LetGo robbery takes place at site of craigslist killing

LetGo robbery takes place at site of craigslist killing

Marlon William Cotham

Earlier this week, I posted about the murder of former Tennessee police officer Jonathan Outlaw. He was shot and killed at a Robertson County gas station after going there to meet someone from craigslist he thought he was going to sell his car to. Just a few days later, another armed robbery was committed at the same exact gas station, except this through the LetGo app.

Police in Robertson County are actively looking for Marlon William Cotham of Nashville. He is accused of allegedly robbing someone at gunpoint who thought they would be selling some video equipment. This happened at 2pm on a Saturday. That’s the textbook definition of broad daylight. And again, just days after another man was killed during an alleged craigslist robbery.

If anyone has any information regarding this incident or the whereabouts of Cotham, please contact our tip line at (615) 382-6600.

I’ve said this many times before, but the old rules don’t apply anymore. You can no longer rely on meeting in public during the day even if you bring a friend along. Too many criminals have shown that these recommendations are for naught. Personally, I don’t do any business on these sites or apps for obvious reasons, but if you’re going to, use the local police department as your meeting place. It’s not a 100% guarantee of safety but it’s the safest option available to you today.

Arrest made in Va. LetGo murder

Arrest made in Va. LetGo murder

Roger Craig Brown III

I originally posted about the murder of 16-year-old Jamaa Khalik Scott here. He was shot and killed outside a middle school in Richmond, Virginia. Scott is said to have met up with someone who was selling a phone on LetGo, but Scott was allegedly planning on grabbing the phone and running. Instead, a struggle ensued with Scott being shot and later dying from his injuries. The suspect had been at large until now.

20-year-old Roger Craig Brown III, of Chesterfield County, was arrested and charged with the murder of Scott and is currently being held without bond. Police aren’t saying how they were able to connect Brown to the murder. However, police say the case is still currently under investigation.

Anyone with information regarding this offense is asked to contact Henrico police at (804) 501-5000 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000. Tipsters can also text Crime Stoppers at 274637, using the keyword “iTip” followed by their tip. Both Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.

It’s one thing to defend yourself during a crime, it’s another to shoot a 16-year-old boy over a cell phone then flee the scene.

UPDATE 9/13/2017: Brown has had his charges upgraded to first-degree murder.

Cop run over by LetGo thieves in amateur sting attempt

Cop run over by LetGo thieves in amateur sting attempt

Johnson and Hayworth

An Indianapolis woman had her cell phone stolen after trying to sell it on LetGo. In an attempt to try to catch the thieves she placed another ad, then told the people she believed robbed her to meet her at a local hospital parking lot. The woman informed hospital security to be on the lookout for these men. Among one of the security guards was an off duty police officer. For some unexplained reason, the security guards went along with this plan.

When the alleged thieves arrived, the security guards tried to apprehend them. Instead, the suspects fled in their car, striking one of the security guards. That guard happened to be the off-duty officer who fired at the fleeing suspects. Fortunately, his injuries were minor, but his shot hit the windshield of the suspects’ car. The suspects didn’t get away for long as they messaged the woman again saying they were still interested in buying the phone. This led to the arrest of 29-year-old Christopher Johnson and 33-year-old Brandon Hayworth.

Even though this comedy of errors led to the arrest of two alleged thieves, this woman’s plan could have had disastrous results. Only by the grace of God was the off-duty officer not killed. Hospital security guards are not your personal police force. If you were to have something stolen in this manner, contact police and let them coordinate any attempts to recover your property or identify the culprits. If you take the law into your own hands it could get you, or somebody else, killed.

Woman uses child in Atlanta LetGo robbery

Woman uses child in Atlanta LetGo robbery

(Story broke 8/1/2017)

A man and his grandmother were robbed at gunpoint in Atlanta, after searching for a car on classifieds app LetGo. The victims were set to buy a Chevy Impala and met a woman with her infant son who was supposedly selling the car. The woman, who called herself Aaliyah Hall, said she didn’t have the bill of sale with her and asked the buyers to meet them in an hour in a church parking lot.

When the buyers got to the church parking lot they were met by Hall and two other men while the child was still present. The two men brandished guns and stole money and a cellphone from the victims. As of last report, police were still looking for the three suspects.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, text information to 274637 or visit crimestoppersatlanta.org. Tipsters can also remain anonymous and be eligible for rewards of up to $2,000.

Just because LetGo is a slick-looking app with national TV advertising doesn’t mean it’s any safer than something like craigslist. If someone says they don’t have the bill of sale with them, or they need you to follow them somewhere else, get away no matter how much you may want the car. At best you’ll probably be robbed and at worst you could end up losing your life.

Illinois man killed in LetGo robbery

Illinois man killed in LetGo robbery

(Story broke 6/30/2017)

31-year-old Kevin C. Jarrett, of Kankakee, Illinois, was shot and killed in University Park, Ill., after a transaction from classifieds app LetGo turned into a robbery gone deadly. Mr. Jarrett was said to be selling his XBox on the app and his girlfriend was with him at the time of the shooting. Three suspects are said to have been involved and so far no arrests have been made at the time of this posting.

The suspect descriptions released by investigators were very vague. A witness told police they saw three people wearing all black. One of them was described as a juvenile, wearing his hair in an Afro.

Anyone with information on the shooting should go to the University Park Department or call (708) 235-4803.

This is the fourth murder connected to the LetGo app since March of this year by my calculations. That is about a murder a month. At that rate, LetGo may be spoken in the same hushed whispers as craigslist when it comes to dangerous online marketplaces.

My thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to the friends and family of Mr. Jarrett.