Police Blotter

Friday December 26, 2003

Online Fraud 

San Francisco police are warning patrons of Bay Area community website Craigslist.org that they could fall prey to a check scam. 

Craig Newmark, the website’s owner, told police that he has received hundreds of reports that his online classified section has been used to defraud people with fake cashier’s checks. 

Police say suspects with a Nigerian address contact folks running ads on the site. The con man claims to want to buy merchandise, and sends the victim a counterfeit cashier’s check for more than the value of the item. 

The victim is then instructed to cash the check at a bank and mail back any excess money via Western Union. That money is sent back to the Nigerian account. 

Eventually the check proves to be a forgery and the victim’s bank penalizes him for the entire amount of the fake check. 


Strong Arm Robberies 

Six juveniles stole a purse from a woman at the intersection of Harrison Street and San Pablo Avenue at approximately 7:45 p.m. Sunday evening, police said. 

Police arrested three men in connection with a robbery on at University Avenue and McGee Street at approximately 11:15 p.m. Friday night. Berkeley Police spokesperson Kevin Schofield said a group of teenagers approached the victim and grabbed his wallet before fleeing in a car. Shortly thereafter, police stopped a car that matched the victim’s description and arrested Justin King, 18, of Richmond, along with two others whose identities the police dispatch system failed to provide.