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  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , murder, Officer Daniel Webster   

    Another police death linked to Armslist 

    Another police death linked to Armslist

    Previously, when we’ve discussed Armslist, better known as the craigslist of guns, we’ve talked about two different police shootings. One happened in Boston that left the officer with considerable medical issues, and the other one that happened in Chicago resulted in the death of a police commander. Now the controversial online firearms marketplace is back in the news linked again to the death of another police officer. The controversy surrounding Armslist is that the guns sold through their platform fall under a loophole in the law that doesn’t require any kind of background check between a private seller and a buyer. In too many cases, not even an ID is asked for. This loophole is known as the gun show loophole since it first allowed private sellers at gun shows to sell their firearms without having to conduct a background check.

    An unfortunate incident occurred in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2015 when Police Officer Daniel Webster was shot by an assailant who had purchased the murder weapon through Armslist illegally. During the trial, the seller of the gun testified that the gun in question was supposed to be recalled since it had a problem of occasionally firing when dropped. Instead of turning the gun in the seller decided to make some money instead. He sold it to a man who contacted the seller through Armslist. The sale took place in a restaurant parking lot and the buyer claimed he had no ID on him. An ID is supposed to be required to sell a gun privately in order to trace the gun if needed. Instead, the seller allowed the buyer to just write any name down on a bill of sale. The accused gunman used an alias on the bill of sale and walked away with the firearm. The gunman was also a previously convicted felon who was banned by law from owning a gun.

    Armslist doesn’t help matters when they use what we call the ‘Backpage defense’. Armslist contends that they’re well within their First Amendment rights to facilitate the sale of guns between private citizens and also try hiding behind the Communications Decency Act of 1996. Much like Backpage tried to defend their profiting off of human trafficking as free speech. While Armslist doesn’t physically sell firearms to people, they do very little to discourage the illegal sale of firearms outside of making users click on a button that says they’re over 18 and they’re legally able to purchase a gun. That’s not exactly what should be called reasonable steps to help prevent illegal gun sales. That seems to be enough for Armslist through as they continue to make money off of the blood of shooting victims which includes fallen police officers.

  • Geebo 9:11 am on September 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Joshua Grey, , murder, Richmond, ,   

    Young man shot and killed in LetGo robbery in Virginia 

    Young man shot and killed in LetGo robbery in Virginia

    It’s actually been quite some time since I last posted about someone losing their life while using a classifieds app but unfortunately it has happened again. Last week, 23-year-old Joshua Grey was shot and killed after listing his iPhone for sale on the marketplace app LetGo. Joshua was said to have met his assailant alone at a local intersection in Richmond, Virginia. The killer shot Joshua and then took his iPhone. Joshua was able to get to a nearby convenience store where he tragically died from his injuries.

    Police in Richmond have released surveillance video of Joshua’s alleged killer and are looking for the public’s help in bringing the man to justice. The video can be seen here courtesy of WTVR. Police are asking anybody with any information regarding Joshua’s murder to contact Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000 or at the Richmond Crime Stoppers website. Anyone contacting Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous.

    Again I have to stress that if you use any classifieds site or app it’s imperative that you meet the other person involved in the transaction at a local police department. Many police stations have set up public meeting zones at their locations to better protect those buying and selling through classifieds. Geebo has partnered with Safe Trade Stations to provide our users with a list of safe places to do business. Just meeting someone in a public place during the day is no longer enough as criminals have become more brazen in their violent methods.

    Our condolences go out to the friends and family of Joshua Grey.

  • Geebo 9:43 am on August 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Duglas Ramirez-Mendez, murder,   

    Dallas man killed during alleged OfferUp robbery 

    Dallas man killed during alleged OfferUp robbery

    Once again, we are saddened to bring you the story of another tragic loss of life. This past Saturday, Duglas Ramirez-Mendez of Dallas, Texas, was shot and killed while trying to sell his car on the classifieds app OfferUp. Mr. Ramirez-Mendez was said to have been trading his Ford Mustang to someone with a Chevy Camaro and would also give the seller of the Camaro $9,000. Tragically, the Camaro never existed and was only used to lure Mr. Ramirez-Mendez into a robbery.

    Instead of meeting a car seller, a teen approached Mr. Ramirez-Mendez and shot him while the victim sat in his car. An accomplice of the alleged gunman claims he had a feeling that the gunman was going to rob Mr. Ramirez-Mendez since the gunman had no car of his own to trade. The gunman and his accomplice have both been charged with capital murder. Sadly, this comes just two months after the Dallas Police and OfferUp announced safe exchange zones at the Dallas Police Department.

    As we’ve said too many times in the past when a senseless loss of life such as Mr. Ramirez-Mendez’s murder occurs, meeting someone in a public place during the day just isn’t enough anymore when it comes to keeping yourself safe. As shown above, criminals have become much to brazen in their attempts to rob potential victims of their money. Always insist on meeting at your local police station especially when a high-dollar transaction like this is set to take place.

    Our condolences go out to Mr. Ramirez-Mendez’s friends and family.

  • Geebo 9:09 am on July 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , murder, Oune Somsanith   

    Missouri man killed during LetGo transaction 

    Missouri man killed during LetGo transaction

    We’re saddened to bring you this story today. This past Sunday, 45-year-old Oune Somsanith of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, was shot and killed in Kansas City, Kansas. Mr. Somsanith made his living by buying electronics off of online marketplaces, fixing them up, then reselling them. On Sunday, Mr. Somsanith went to meet someone he was going to buy an iPhone from through the classified app LetGo. Unfortunately, he never returned from that meeting.

    According to his family, Mr. Somsanith took many precautions when making these transactions such as meeting sellers at a cell phone store to make sure the device had not been reported stolen. If the seller did not want to join him at the store he would not go through with the transaction. He was said to have made many of these transactions without incident in the past. Sadly, Mr. Somsanith leaves behind a wife and five children. A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family.

    As of the time of posting this, no suspect has yet to be captured in Mr. Somsanith’s murder.

    Police continue to investigate his death and ask anyone with information to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

    Even though Mr. Somsanith had many successful and safe transactions, there is always an inherent risk in meeting a buyer or seller for the first time. While Mr. Somsanith’s method of going to the phone stores is an ingenious way of making sure you’re not buying stolen merchandise, those locations are not secure enough to ensure you’re own safety. Over the last few years, thieves and killers have become more brazen when it comes to assaulting their victims. We always recommend completing transactions at a local police department as many police departments now have areas designated for such transactions.

    Our condolences go out to Mr. Somsanith’s friends and family and we hope that his assailant is brought to justice soon.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on April 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Johnny Barker, Kevin Garcia-Boettler, , murder, ,   

    Arrests made in the craigslist disappearance of Okla. men 

    Arrests made in the craigslist disappearance of Okla. men

    There’s been an update to yesterday’s story about the disappearance of two men from Moore, Oklahoma, who went missing after an alleged craigslist transaction. Sadly, the bodies of 21-year-olds Alize Smith and Jarron Moreland were found in a pond with both men having been shot to death. Three suspects have been arrested and charged in their murders, and they are 22-year-old Kevin Garcia-Boettler, 43-year-old Johnny Barker, and the 16-year-old brother of Garcia-Boettler.

    According to police, Moreland and Smith were said to be selling a gun on craigslist and the trio of suspects were meeting with the two men to purchase the gun. Once Moreland and Smith approached the suspects’ van, one of the suspects claims they heard a gun being cocked by one of the victims. This resulted in one of the suspects firing on the two men, killing them both. Tragically, this could have all been prevented.

    Craigslist’s terms of service forbids firearms from being sold or traded on their site, yet it happens all the time. The problem with craigslist is the usual one as they hardly ever do any kind of moderation on their site for any kind of illegal items or sales. Instead, they rely on their users to flag any kind of inappropriate ad, the same users who are posting the illegal ads to begin with. This is akin to the inmates running the asylum. Craigslist has the ability to screen for ads like this as they have done so in the past with unlocked iPhones when that was still illegal. Yet they allow guns to change hands without even batting an eye.

  • Geebo 9:01 am on November 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , murder, , ,   

    Particularly violent month for classifieds 

    Particularly violent month for classifieds

    The month of October was pretty brutal month for the users of classifieds websites and apps. A few of the stories that stood out were the murder of a former policeman and the shooting of a newlywed couple. All the victims believed they were meeting someone to buy or sell something through online classifieds, but instead lost either life or limb.

    It started with a robbery turned murder in Mesa, Arizona, when a man was shot and killed by someone posing as a person who was selling a high-end laptop on OfferUp. That was followed up by the murder of a former Tennessee policeman who thought he was meeting someone to buy his car from craigslist. Bizarrely, an armed robbery set up through LetGo took place at the same site where the officer was killed. Then the month ended up with a newlywed couple from Virgina, being shot and maimed during an OfferUp meeting.

    A number of these transactions took place in broad daylight in public places;. That doesn’t matter anymore as criminals have adapted to the old suggested safety precautions that used to go towards keeping people safe. The best way to keep yourself safe is to insist on making the transaction at a local police station. Many police stations now welcome these transactions so they can be completed in a safe environment.

  • Geebo 8:56 am on June 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , murder   

    Why haven’t the classifieds murders of two young men caused any concern? 

    Why haven't the murders of two young men rattled the classifieds industry?

    Within the past week two young men who were both full of promise lost their lives after trying to complete transactions through online classifieds. In the first case, 19-year-old Brian Brown was shot and killed in North Miami Beach while trying to sell a Playstation through craigslist. He was getting ready to leave for college in Northern California where he had earned a football scholarship. According to the Craigslist Killings – Craigslist Safety blog, Brown was the 115th person to be killed through some type of craigslist transaction gone wrong.

    In the second case, 21-year-old Zack Finch was shot and killed in Charlotte, North Carolina after trying to buy a cell phone through the classifieds app LetGo. Finch was a star for his university’s baseball team. By this blog’s estimation, Finch is the third person to have been killed while using the LetGo app.

    Both of these men had such promise and unfortunately their lives have been cut short due to greedy and heartless killers who just wanted to make a quick buck regardless the cost of lives. In both cases no arrests have yet to have been made. The bigger question is, why haven’t these two murders, that happened within days of each other to two similar men, not been a cause for concern? People carry on using craigslist and LetGo like nothing has happened and continue to disregard the basic tenets of safety. Both murders occurred in broad daylight in public spaces and as we’ve said in the past, these old rules don’t apply anymore as criminals have become bolder in their crimes in the past few years. Virtually all the big names in the industry have had violent crimes attached to their brand including Backpage, LetGo, OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace and of course, craigslist.

    Geebo is very serious about the safety of our users. When you meet someone to either buy or sell an item we highly recommend completing the transaction at a police station during the day. Many police stations now have areas set up just for these transactions. Even then we still recommend taking a friend and letting people know where you’re going and why. While these measures may seem extreme, it’s worth it in the end to see not only our users, but the users of all sites and apps, to come home safely.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on April 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , murder, Robert Godwin, Steve Stephens   

    With the latest controversy is Facebook too big for its own good? 

    With the latest controversy is Facebook too big for its own good?

    It happened again, another gruesome crime has been committed with the video being shown on Facebook. This seems to be an unfortunate recurrence for Facebook lately. Already, two violent crimes from Chicago had made national headlines after they were broadcast on Facebook live. Now, as I’m sure you’ve heard, a man from Cleveland was shot and killed randomly and a video of the murder was uploaded to Facebook. On Easter Sunday, 37-year-old Steve Stephens allegedly shot and killed 74-year-old Robert Godwin and recorded himself in the act before uploading the video to Facebook.

    The video of the murder stayed on Facebook for two hours before it was pulled. Facebook claims that they didn’t receive a report about the video until 23 minutes prior to them not only removing the video, but also shutting down Stephens’ Facebook. With Facebook’s desire to keep all their users in their walled garden do they have some responsibility to bear with the crimes that are broadcast on their platform?

    Facebook is trying to be all things to all people with photo sharing, video sharing and now live streaming alongside the regular features they’ve promoted over their long history. However, is Facebook scaling their workforce at the same pace as they keep releasing new features? As was mentioned in the video above, YouTube, which also offers live streaming, states that they employ an army to moderate content and so far have seemed to escape the criminal controversy that Facebook continues to court. There are many livestreaming services available to users that have had their own similar controversies, just not on the level of tragedy that Facebook has. Those other services also don’t have the gigantic userbase that Facebook does. Had they done their homework correctly, Facebook may have implemented better safeguards from keeping these horrific acts from being shared on their pages.

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