Sheriff's office: Craigslist used as means to commit armed robberies in Ypsilanti

Series of armed robberies in Ypsilanti; Victims posted ads to Craigslist


YPSILANTI TWP., Mich. – A series of armed robberies occurred over the last month in Ypsilanti Township in which victims were robbed by potential buyers found on Craigslist, according to the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office.

In a string of three related armed robberies, victims have placed ads on Craigslist in the ‘Wanting to Buy' section. The victim is contacted, and a location to meet is agreed upon.

Robert Woodworth, 53, of Ypsilanti is an avid user of Craigslist and suffering from terminal bone cancer. On the evening of Dec. 28, Woodworth was looking for a pool table and he was contacted by a man who claimed to know all about pool tables and could bring one over.

Once in Woodworth's home, the thief pulled out a gun. Woodworth didn't get scared, he got angry.

"He kept pushing the gun in my chest over and over again," said Woodworth. "He told me to give me the money. I said, "No, I'm not going to give you my money. I'm not doing this. You want to shoot me? Go ahead and shoot me. I've got terminal cancer.'"

In two of the incidents, the thief robbed sellers at gunpoint. In the third, and most recent incident, which took place Tuesday evening, the thief produced a knife.

No one has been physically injured.

"The way he talked, he knew what he was doing. He's done this before," said Woodworth. "For me it's the principle. No one comes into my house and robs me. No way."

The only details released by police describe the robber as a black man, 6 feet 1 inch to 6 feet 4 inches, 200 pounds and last seen wearing an orange sweatshirt.

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