Two elementary schools were directly impacted by a massive tornado in the Oklahoma City area on Monday. It brings to mind a storm from a 1996 tornado which destroyed the Allardt Elementary School in Fentress County.More >>
Two elementary schools were directly impacted by a massive tornado in the Oklahoma City area on Monday. It brings to mind a storm from a 1996 tornado which destroyed the Allardt Elementary School in Fentress County. More >>
KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Police say an undercover investigation helped them nab a North Knoxville man accused of stealing from people who responded to his ad on Craigslist.
John R. Comerford, 30, of Chickamauga Avenue, is accused of placing an ad on Craigslist claiming he had a set of chrome rims for sale.
Police say at least three times, Comerford met people who responded to his ad.
"Generally the price that they had agreed on was between $400 and $420, that seems to be the rate that these individuals had agreed to buy the rims for," said KPD spokesperson Darrell DeBusk.
.In two of the incidents, Comerford's accused of walking off with their cash. In another incident, he's accused of robbing the person he met.
"The victim was taking the money out and [Comerford] grabbed it and a struggle ensued and the suspect was able to run away with the money," DeBusk said.
Investigators made contact with Comerford through the ad and struck a deal to buy the set of rims.
Comerford told an undercover officer to meet him at a business on Broadway, and he would then take him to his apartment to get the rims.
Under heavy surveillance, the officer picked Comerford up and took him to the apartment. That's where officers took him into custody.
Police say Comerford confessed to the crimes during an interview.
He's charged with two counts of theft and one count of robbery, and he's being held on a $28,000 bond.
Police say there are ways to protect yourself when buying from Craigslist.
"One would be not to take cash or display cash. Second, if the person selling the items shows up without them that should be a red flag, and just trust your gut. If you have a feeling that something is not right than it is probably best to end that encounter," warns Sgt. Kelly Tanner of Knoxville Police Department.
Sgt. Tanner also says to pick the meeting location and make sure it is a busy place. It is also a good idea to bring along a friend. He says the biggest mistake is people put their guard down.
"Often times people fall prey to the fact they're getting a really good deal and take a chance and in this case it came back to haunt the victims," he said.