A man used good safety tips and met a stranger at a public plaza to complete an online exchange. But that didn’t keep the stranger from robbing them at gunpoint.
A man became the victim of an armed robbery after he agreed to meet someone outside Best Buy at Coconut Point mall in Estero.
The victim seemed to do everything right to stay safe, but he was still met with a potentially deadly situation.
Deputies said a man drove to the parking lot after chatting with someone online to sell his chainsaw. They say when he arrived, the buyer arrived in a black Nissan Versa with three other men. One of those men drew a silver and black firearm and demanded the victim’s gold chain and chainsaw.
David Tveit said he’s done an online swap in person before.
“I have sold something, and he actually came to my house,” Tveit said.
Tveit said he likely won’t do that again after Lee County deputies say a victim was robbed at gunpoint.
“It’s like a public parking lot or for a mall, and it’s still within opening hours and somebody points a gun,” Tveit said. “It’s pretty scary.”
Luke Lunde couldn’t believe the incident happened during the day in the big public parking lot.
“I heard there was a guy in a parking lot, and he came out with a chainsaw,” Lunde said. “I wouldn’t trust anybody. It’s almost like a drug deal gone bad.”
The men took off before deputies arrived at the scene. A security guard at Coconut Point declined to comment, but they said they do not recommend meeting up at their mall for an online swap. The sheriff’s office or police station is a better scenario.
Shoppers say they’ll have to be more alert.
“You’ve gotta use your common sense and wit,” Lunde said.