Aurora man held at gunpoint during Craigslist deal

Posted at 5:40 PM, Nov 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-20 21:09:21-05

AURORA, Colo. -- An Aurora man was held at gunpoint outside a busy AMC Theater during a Craigslist deal gone bad.

Aurora police said it happened in the theater's parking lot Friday around 5:30 p.m. at Arapahoe Crossing.

"There were cars all around. There were people coming and going," Jack Schmalzried, the robbery victim, said.

Schmalzried did everything experts recommend when trying to sell an item on Craigslist.

He met in a public place, and brought someone with him -- but it didn't stop three brazen thieves from robbing him and his girlfriend at gunpoint in the middle of the packed parking lot.

"He pulled it out of his pocket and kind of pointed it next to my head, and cocked it," Schmalzried said.

Schmalzried had scheduled to meet with one of the suspects to sell two android phones he had listed for sale on Craigslist.

"The phones weren't worth my life," he said. "My girlfriend was with me, so I was worried about her."

Schmalzried has sold several things on Craigslist and said there were no immediate red flags.

"Everything seemed fine. I talked to the guy on the phone twice. We had quite a few text messages between the two of us," Schmalzried said.

He did get a good look at all three suspects and their getaway car, which he described as a light blue older model Ford Taurus. But they were driving on temporary tags.

"We got the expiration date, but we weren't able to get the temporary number," Schmalzried said.

Aurora police said they do see an uptick in crimes like this during the holiday season and suggest meeting at a police station when selling anything valuable online.

Schmalzried also kept a record of the phone's serial numbers, which allowed him to contact the phone company to have both phones blocked from the network.

Police also have a database they can use to track the serial number if the phones show up for sale at a pawn shop.