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Pine Bluff Police Arrest Two in Craigslist Robbery Sting

Two suspects are arrested for posting fake ads on Craigslist and arresting unsuspecting buyers.
Pine Bluff police arrest a pair of thieves suspected of targeting unsuspecting buyers on Craigslist Monday. After months of investigating a series of robberies, PBPD conducted a sting operation to catch suspects they say posted fake car ads online, only to rob people.

Authorities say 27 year old Cameron Arnold and 23 year old Brittany Smith are facing Aggravated Robbery charges for their roles in the robberies.

Investigators hope the crimes serve as a safety reminder for people who use the site regularly, especially looking for cars.

Valarie Elders of Elders Auto Sales II says she uses it as a marketing tool, often posting pictures of cars from her family's used car lot on Craigslist to boost exposure.

"I can advertise and people don't have to come in they have all the info they need," she says.

Instead of using it for good, authorities say Arnold and Smith were using it to commit crimes.

Police say the thieves targeted out of state buyers looking for cars online and when buyers showed up in Pine Bluff ready to buy a car, according to these police reports, they were robbed instead.

Some victims report being led into neighborhoods and shot at, before escaping.

"Everyone should take heed cause you never know who you're dealing," warns Pine Bluff Police Lt. JoAnn Bates.

Law enforcement agencies are seeing cases like these across the state including two recent robberies in North Little Rock that are still under investigation.

"It's been an ever-growing problem," says Bates. "We're glad we were able to assist our community and protect our citizens by catching the Craigslist robber."

Elders is also grateful for the arrests and says she hopes buyers learn what to ask for, and who to trust.

"It makes me feel safe, I appreciate that. In business it's hard to market and when you have something free out there and someone abuses it, that's very disappointing to me," says Elders.

The suspects have Probable Cause hearings Thursday morning.


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