Two Fairfield County motorcycle owners had their bikes ripped off by a man posing a potential buyer in two separate incidents on Wednesday.
According to Trumbull Police Lt. Keith Golding, a New Haven resident, and an Orange resident reported to police that their motorcycles were stolen after bringing them to Trumbull to sell.
Both sellers placed ads on OfferUp each looking to sell their off-road type motorcycles. They were each contacted by a man who claimed he was interested in purchasing the vehicles. They each agreed to set up a meet at two separate addresses, one on Wilson Avenue and the other on Green Street, both in Trumbull, to make the purchase, Golding said.
When the sellers met at the pre-arranged locations, the prospective buyer asked to take the motorcycle for a test ride. The seller on Wilson Avenue told the prospective buyer no. When he pushed the issue, the buyer lifted his shirt and displayed a handgun stuffed into his waistband, he then rode off on the vehicle and never returned.
The seller on Green Street started the motorcycle and allowed the prospective buyer to sit on it. The prospective buyer then left on the vehicle and never returned. Both incidents reportedly took place about one hour apart.
OfferUp is an online website that is commonly used to connect buyers and sellers through the internet, using a minimal exchange of identification.
Trumbull Police are warning area residents to use caution with such websites since several similar thefts have occurred recently when these sales meetings were arranged at public locations.
For additional information on safety and precautions when using an internet site to make purchases or exchanges, go to www.craigslist.org/about/safety.
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