Police investigate Craigslist thefts in Fort Mill

adouglas@heraldonline.comMarch 7, 2013 

— Law enforcement officials in Charlotte and York County are investigating recent thefts originating from people meeting to sell items posted on Craigslist.

For the second time in less than a week, York County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded on Wednesday to a call in Fort Mill about a man stealing an iPhone after arranging to meet with a seller in a parking lot.

Last Thursday, an off-duty Charlotte police officer was pepper-sprayed by a man attempting to steal his iPhone after arranging to meet on Craigslist.

Both incidents happened during afternoon hours, according to police reports.

Wednesday’s theft happened in the Harris Teeter parking lot near Gold Hill Road and Highway 160.

A 23-year-old man told deputies he advertised his iPhone 5 on Craigslist and met someone who said they wanted to buy the phone in the store’s parking lot.

Before any money was exchanged, the man fled on foot with the iPhone, according to a police report.

Last week’s attempted iPhone theft happened at the Circle K gas station on Carowinds Boulevard, about five miles away from the Harris Teeter store.

The Charlotte cop who was trying to sell his phone told police that the pretend buyer assaulted him with pepper-spray and ran toward a nearby car, according to the report.

As the man fled, the cop chased him on foot and pulled out his “back up weapon,” yelling “police, police,” the report states.

After a brief struggle, the would-be thief broke free and threw the phone back to the police officer.

The suspect got inside a car and shut the door on the police officer, injuring his shin, according to the sheriff’s office report.

York County detectives are working with Charlotte police to figure out whether the two cases are related, said Kim Morehouse, with the sheriff’s office.

No arrests have been made yet in connection with the incidents.

Anna Douglas •  803-329-4068

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