Local man robbed 3 times buying electronics on Craigslist

SEATTLE -- A Kent man has had some seriously bad luck buying items on Craigslist.

The man, who we'll call "Bruce," has been robbed three times while trying to purchase electronics using the popular website.

Many people would balk at the idea of meeting a stranger in a Safeway parking lot with pockets full of cash to buy brand new iPhones, but that's how Bruce makes his living.

Bruce runs a legitimate business selling new electronics that he's purchased using Craigslist. He's been buying and selling for five years, but he's had a run of bad luck with the transactions.

In addition to being ripped off on shoddy electronics, Bruce has been robbed three times.

"One of the times he just got greedy and pulled a gun. That was in Kent," he said.

Bruce agreed to meet with a man in a Rainier Valley Safeway last week to buy some iPhones. Bruce had never met the man in person, but he agreed to buy 50 brand new iPhones for $32,000.

"I was supposed to bring $10,000 that day, check out the merchandise and bring the rest of the money the following day," Bruce said.

Having been ripped off twice before, Bruce also insisted on checking out the merchandise.

"That's when he flashed the gun and that's when he put the hand on the trigger, so things got a little more serious. So I gave him the money," he said.

Bruce realizes that many people think it's not smart to do business the way he does, but he said it's how he makes his living.

"When you think you'd dealt with a person four or five times, and you think you've built up trust with them and they go and rob you. You can't trust anyone on Craigslist," he said.

Despite his recent problems, Bruce said he'll continue to buy and sell electronics. He denies knowingly buying or selling anything that's been stolen.

Seattle police are still looking for the robber.