Man robbed in Craigslist meet up in attempt to sell his van

Lafayette police have issued a warning about the potential dangers of buying and selling items online.

A recent case of a man selling a van ended with him being robbed and beaten at his home.

The victim, whom KTVU is not identifying by name, says he's sold items online many times and he even got the home he rents from Craigslist.

He says he's never had a problem until Friday and what happened took him by surprise.
Along Moraga Boulevard, a group of ladies are talking about installing surveillance cameras on their homes after learning a neighbor was beaten and robbed in his home in this residential neighborhood.

The victim says his attackers were two men he met while trying to sell his van on Craigslist, the long-running community website where goods and services are often bought, sold and exchanged.

"I can't think of a time when something like that has happened," says Lori Rembac, a neighbor. 

The victim says he agreed to meet the two men at a nearby convenience store parking lot. He says was going to throw in some speakers and a cabinet as part of the deal to sell the van.
He got into the men's car for the short ride back to his home so he could show them the extra items.  One of the men walked up to the home with him.  As soon as the 28-year-old victim opened the garage, the man pulled out a gun.

"He told me he was going to kill me.  He hit me in the head with the gun," the victim tells KTVU," I think they planned to kill me.  I'm just lucky."

The victim says the men stole two necklaces, a watch and his cell phone.  After the men got away, he asked a neighbor to call 911.
He was taken to the hospital and treated for head injuries.

"My son saw the victim that day. He was holding his head with blood coming out.  The next day, I saw him.  He had a huge goose egg on his head," says Rembac. 
Police shared a surveillance video of the vehicle the two thieves were driving; a white, four-door Volkswagen Passat.

"They're bad people.  They need to be in jail," says the victim.

Police say online transactions should be done in public places such as a police station. Where there are surveillance cameras and other people around.

Also, don't meet strangers alone and never bring them to your home.

"You have no clue as to who's on the other side of this internet connection or what their desires and wants are associated with this," says Lafayette Police Chief Eric Christensen. 

Some Lafayette residents say they've tried either buying or selling online, but stopped after interactions with questionable potential buyers.
They say this robbery is a reminder to be careful.

"It scared me.  I told the kids lock the doors all the time," says Rembac.

Police hope surveillance video of the suspects' vehicle and other leads will lead to an arrest.

As for the victim, he says he doesn't plan on conducting business this way with strangers anymore.