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Buyer ambushed in private-vehicle transaction

Staff report

An armed robbery in Beaumont has police issuing warnings about making private transactions on vehicle sales.

In an issued statement, police said a man was shot in the arm at 9:55 p.m. Sunday at Pine Club Apartments, 5015 Pine St., where he’d gone to buy a car from a private seller. The victim said he arrived at that location to purchase a vehicle from an online seller.

Police said while the victim was awaiting the seller, a lone suspect wielding a handgun demanded money, then shot him in the arm. The suspect fled on foot.

Police said the victim was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated for injuries that did not threaten his life. The suspect had not been identified Sunday night.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Beaumont Police at 409-832-1234 or Southeast Texas Crime Stoppers at 409-833-TIPS (8477). You can also submit tips anonymously through www.833TIPS.com or by downloading the P3 Tips app on your smart phone.

Beaumont police urged individual buyers to use caution when purchasing items from online sellers. They suggested these safety tips:

  • Always meet in a public place, preferably during the daytime. Police welcome buy/sell transactions in front of BPD
  • Bring someone with you
  • If the price/item seems too good to be true, it probably is
  • Watch out for red flags. If the seller/buyer is unwilling to meet in a public place (like the police department), if the seller/buyer constantly changes the time and location of the meet, if the seller/buyer is using a new or fake profile
  • Ask questions and make sure the answers make sense for what is being sold/purchased