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Police Say Online Seller Tried To Rob Buyer At Gunpoint At Point Of Sale In Whim

FREDERIKSTED — Police say a St. Croix seller lured a buyer to his home under the guise of completing a purchase that began online — only to try to rob him at gunpoint when he arrived.

The Virgin Islands Police Department said only that it is investigating a shooting that took place in Estate Whim on Friday.

But the VIPD issued a statement on Twitter this afternoon stating that the department will allow online buyers and sellers to get together to complete purchases on their premises.

“Just this week there was an exchange of gunfire in the Estate Whim area when a buyer met a seller in good faith, and the seller tried to rob the buyer,” Acting Police Commissioner Mario M. Brooks said. “The buyer had a firearm permit. No one was hurt. While one cannot always predict what will happen next, the VIPD, as with other police and sheriff departments nationwide, is offering the parking lots for safe exchanges during daylight hours.”

Police are encouraging all “local online marketplace shoppers to conduct their sales in the Department’s parking lots.”

“We have now seen two incidents where persons met with potential sellers of items advertised online, only to be robbed when meeting with the seller of the items,” Commissioner Brooks related.

VIPD spokesman Toby Derima said that no one reported any injuries — to date after the shooting in Whim.

“Not only is (the police department) a public place, if someone has bad intentions, they are more than likely not going to come to the police department to take advantage of you in any way,” Acting Police Commissioner Brooks said.

Anyone with information about the shooting should contact police by calling 911, the Criminal Investigation Bureau at 340-774-2211, or Crime Stoppers USVI at 800-222-8477.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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