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Police warn of armed robberies during Craigslist meet-ups

Police are cautioning Internet deal-seekers after a pair of armed robberies this month on the West Side stemming from transactions arranged on classified advertising websites such as Craigslist.

Victims set up the in-person meetings online to buy or sell electronics, only to be robbed by two men of their money, cell phones and merchandise, according to a community alert from Grand Central District Chicago Police.

The robbers were armed with knives in the the first incident, which happened about 6:25 p.m. on Jan. 8 in the 1300 block of North Monticello. The duo showed a handgun during the second robbery about 10:30 p.m. on Jan. 14 in the 1600 block of North Pulaski, the alert said.

They are described as Hispanic men between 19 and 22 years old. In the first attack, one was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and jeans while the other wore a black skull cap, jacket and jeans. During the second incident, one had on a gray sweater and the other a black hoodie, police said.

Police urge residents to choose a well-lit public place to carry out transactions set up online and to document information such as phone numbers, user names and listing numbers.

Anyone with information on the robberies should call Area North detectives at (312) 744-8263.