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Craigslist thief lets Roswell man take his picture, then steals camera

1:33 AM, Mar 5, 2013   |    comments
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STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. -- A man trying to sell his camera on Craiglist, says he had it stolen instead, but not before using it to get a picture of the thief.

The victim, who asked only to be identified as Wes, says he posted a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV camera body on Craigslist for $3,375.

A man named Keith swapped a few emails and text messages with him, until they agreed to meet Sunday afternoon at the bowling alley Pin Strikes in Stockbridge. Keith said he was a firefighter and bowling a few games there with his buddies.

"He was very articulate and nice. There were no red flags," said Wes.

Wes said he liked the spot, because it was a public place in broad daylight. He even thought about how he would check to make sure the money exchanged wasn't counterfeit. But the deal never got that far.

Wes says at the man's request he snapped a few photos and then took out the storage card, since that wasn't part of the deal. Keith wanted a receipt, so Wes went to the car to get a pen. That's when in the bowling alley's surveillance video, the suspect can be seen grabbing the camera and running off.

"I looked around and he had grabbed the camera and ran into some woods next to the bowling alley. Jumped two fences. I'm not young enough to try to catch him, so I immediately called police," said Wes.

Wes doesn't think Keith ever intended to pay and wonders what would have happened, had Keith not had this opportunity to get away.

"I'm just thankful all I lost was a camera body. It's just plastic and metal," he said.

Keith's number now dumps into a recording and it won't let you leave a message. Wes sent him a text message with his photo, hoping he might hand the camera into police. No such luck. Clayton County investigators have notified pawn shops, and so far, Wes hasn't seen his camera back on Craigslist.

"I'm hoping something like this, somebody's going to see it and someone's going to be a little more cautious," said Wes who admits, he'll still probably use Craigslist to buy and sell again in the future. But this time he'll meet indoors, in a busy public place where it's harder to get up and run.

Anyone who recognizes the man in the photo is asked to call Clayton County Police.

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