MEMPHIS, Tenn. — When you sell something online, you are always told to meet the buyer in a public place to make sure you are safe. But one Memphis man says he tried to do that and still ended up being robbed.
The victim, who didn’t want to be identified, still can’t believe what happened in a public place Tuesday evening. He was meeting someone who responded to his Facebook Marketplace ad about selling his iPhone.
“We spoke. We corresponded about where we were going to meet, and how much the price of the phone was. They were okay with it,” he said.
The place they were supposed to meet was the Chick-fil-A on Union Avenue.
He said police always advise online sellers and buyers to meet in a public place to avoid being robbed, so he thought he was good.
“I chose Chick-fil-A because I never hear anything bad happening there, and it’s a family place. It’s just a very, it’s I think of it as holy ground,” he said.
But the man noticed something odd when the buyer arrived.
“They did not want to come inside. And then he kept asking me to come outside. So I said, ‘Well, I’m at Chick-fil-A.’ I didn’t think it was anything to worry about,'” he said.
The man said when he came outside, he was talking to the buyer, and two other males got out of the vehicle with AK-47s and demanded he hand over his phone and food.
“And I think he would have shot me if I didn’t give him the phone and the food. The only thing I said to them was ‘Are you serious right now? Like is it really this serious?'” he said.
Some Chick-fil-A workers called the police. The man said the suspects looked between 17 to 20 years old.
Chick-fil-A said they are cooperating with police and even provided video showing the suspects, two passengers, and a driver. But they said the vehicle they were in, a red Nissan Maxima, had drive-out tags.
They also told us they are asking people to do their transactions away from the restaurant because this puts other customers and employees who work outside at risk.
Police said a public place is still the best place to wrap up an online transaction, but a police precinct is even better.
But as this victim learned, you still need to be wary.
“I’m just gonna watch my surroundings, just be vigilant. I’m grateful to be alive. I could not be standing here today. What’s important is I’m alive,” he said.
So far, police have not made an arrest in the case.
If you have any information that could help investigators, call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH.