We have said it before and will say it again. Be careful when purchasing goods in-person from people you don’t know. While you may have nothing but good intentions, you have something the other person wants, whether that is money or the item. And this is the perfect way for criminals to set people up to be robbed.
And that is precisely what happened in Houston, TX just a few days ago.
A man with a concealed carry permit arranged a meeting with someone selling a PlayStation gaming console over the app Letgo. He met the seller at an apartment complex at 10 PM.
That’s when a masked man walked up with a rifle pointed at him. The buyer pulled out his own concealed carry pistol and fired on the would-be robber, killing him on the spot.
There are a few things that jump out to me when hearing about this story.
First off, agreeing to meet at a random apartment complex is a horrible idea. Most apartment complexes have a lot of cars and places for some to hide if they planned on robbing you. Even with your head on a swivel, it could be easy for someone to get the drop on you.
If you plan on meeting someone to make a purchase in-person, there are better places to meet than a random apartment complect. At the very least, meet up in a high trafficked public place. I recently sold a yoga ball chair (don’t laugh) to a woman through Facebook Marketplace. While I was able to confirm who she was through her Facebook profile, I decided not to take any chances and met her at a Louisiana State Trooper location that was local to both of us. There are even some state and local police departments that have meeting exchange locations specifically for this.
Secondly, meeting at 10 PM wasn’t probably the best idea. I would always recommend meeting in broad daylight. We cover other tips for protecting yourself in private sales in our article, “Protecting Yourself In Private Sales: Concealed Carry And Face-to-Face Sales Tips.”
When conducting sales face-to-face, you have to decide if selling or purchasing the item is really worth the risk you may be putting yourself in. And if you decide to proceed with the sale, do your best to mitigate the risks involved.
This guy was just hoping to buy a PlayStation for a good deal. While he didn’t get robbed or shot himself, he did wind up having to shoot and kill someone in self-defense which is something that probably wasn’t worth the deal he was getting.
Stay safe out there.