UPDATE: A Warning for Craigslist Users After Three Incidents in Beloit

By: Dana Brueck Email
By: Dana Brueck Email

UPDATED Friday, February 11, 2011 --- 11:25 a.m.

Press Release from the Beloit Police Department:

The Beloit Police Department with assistance from the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigations (DCI) arrested two individuals late last night for their involvement in three recent Armed Robberies. The similarities in the robberies were that the victims were responding to a Craigslist posting for the sale of I-Phones.

The first incident occurred on February 1st in the 1200 block of Summit Av. This victim was from Beloit. The suspects confronted the victim with a handgun and stole his wallet containing cash. The victim was not injured.

The second incident occurred on February 4th. A Milwaukee area couple met the suspects also in the 1200 block of Summit Av. The male victim struggled with the suspects when threatened with a handgun. The couple was able to leave the area without injury or loss of property.

The third incident occurred on February 8th when a Madison area victim met the suspects in the 500 block of Lawton Av. When threatened with a handgun, the victim struggled with the suspects and was stuck in the face with the handgun. The victim sustained a minor cut to face. The suspects fled the scene with the victim’s car keys.

The suspects had communicated with the victims prior to the robberies by use of cell phones. Beloit Police Department investigator’s initial attempts to track and communicate with the suspects were unsuccessful. On February 10th the DCI assisted the Beloit investigators in tracking the suspect’s cell phone. At about 8:30 p.m. the investigators were able to determine that the suspect’s cell phone was inside a residence in the 1600 block of Dewey Av. Contact was made at this residence and two suspects were taken into custody for the robberies. A subsequent search of the residence discovered evidence of the crimes.

The two individuals arrested and held at the Rock County Jail are:

Cas A. Martin, B/M, DOB-07/29/1992, of Milwaukee WI
Charges: 3 counts Armed Robbery, 1 count Receiving Stolen Property, and Obstructing

Tremaine M. Hill, B/M, DOB-01/08/1992, of Beloit WI
Charges: 1 count of Armed Robbery

Further follow-up investigation will be conducted and additional charges are possible.

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POSTED: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 -- 5:15 p.m.
By NBC15's Dana Brueck

A cautionary tale for anyone who looks for bargains in the classified ads on Craigslist.

Police say one victim was injured when he went to meet some alleged sellers.

All three of these incidents happened in residential areas on Beloit's East Side. The latest occurred Tuesday night when a Madison man was injured.

Craigslist boasts 50-million users in the U-S alone, offering almost anything imaginable at your fingertips.

But Beloit Police say a few users recently found themselves victims of a crime after using the online forum.

"We don't know for sure but it would be a very safe assumption that because of the way ... the similarities between the 3 that certainly they would appear to be connected."

Capt. Dan Risse says the first robbery happened little more than a week ago.

A Madison man arranged through Craigslist to meet the suspects to purchase iPhones. But the victim instead was robbed of hundreds of dollars in cash.

"It happened during the overnight sometime between 11 and three."

Then, a few days later, another similar incident but this time the man from Milwaukee saw a gun (and never any iPhones). He was able to flee.

And on Tuesday night, another attempted armed robbery left the victim from Madison injured.

"There was some sort of altercation when he wouldn't give up his money, and he received a cut over the eye."

Police say the circumstances of the meetings --- cash transactions, late at night with strangers --- should make people cautious.

"Certainly if you're going to purchase something on the Internet and you set up a meet, you certainly should think about setting it up during the day time, perhaps in a public place, a mall or restaurant, or in this case, because they're traveling some distance somewhere out by the interstate."

Police have patrol units monitoring the locations where these incidents have taken place, not only to nab the suspects but to prevent another possible meeting and violent crime.


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