'A Craigslist deal that went bad'
TOWN OF JANESVILLE Two Illinois men are in custody at the Rock County Jail after being arrested Tuesday night on charges of armed robbery.
Multiple other charges are likely to follow, said Sgt. Josh Lund of the Rock County Sheriff's Office.
Arrested were Brandon M. Bunch, 23, and Brandon S. Turnure, 20, both of Loves Park, Ill. The pair will make their initial court appearances in jail court at 4 p.m. today.
Deputies and detectives are investigating the incident, which came in as a report of a robbery at 10:31 p.m. Tuesday in the 5800 block of North Glenmoor Lane.
The victims, who are father and son, told investigators each of the suspects pointed a handgun at them, demanded their possessions and fled in a Cadillac after stealing a laptop computer and an iPhone, Lund said.
Driving his own vehicle, the father followed the suspects into the parking lot behind a business on Black Bridge Road, where the Cadillac hit a building and became stuck in a snow bank, Lund said. The father ran into a nearby business, borrowed a phone and called 911.
"He advised the suspects had removed (license) plates from the car and had fled on foot," Lund said.
Rock County deputies began a foot pursuit along with Janesville police officers and a canine unit. After a short pursuit, Bunch and Turnure were taken into custody, Lund said.
Police recovered two handguns, a laptop computer and a cellphone. However, it is uncertain if the laptop and phone were the ones reported stolen, Lund said.
"It was a Craigslist deal that went bad," he said.
Police also are uncertain whether the incident is linked to a similar one that occurred Saturday in Madison, Lund said.
"We think maybe the stuff is from Madison, but we're still investigating," he said.
Milton Police Department is responding to Tuesday's robbery by offering a safe haven for Craigslist transactions—the Milton Police Department lobby at 120 Parkview Drive.
Milton police Lt. John Conger said the department's lobby is open during regular business hours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday as a secure public place for people to meet to buy and sell Craigslist items.
Conger said the department's lobby is under 24-hour video surveillance and police officers are almost always in the building. He noted officers would not assist in Craigslist transactions.
Having a police department as a "safety net" location for Craigslist deals could cut down on attempts at robbery, fraud and delivery of stolen goods, Conger said.
"If you're going to be dealing with someone who is going to defraud you or sell you stolen merchandise, they might think twice about meeting you at a police department," he said.
Conger said people should contact the police department before going there to do Craigslist transactions.
If people don't feel comfortable buying or selling Craiglist items around police, his advice is to do Craigslist deals during normal business hours, in a well-lighted, busy, public place such as a fast food restaurant.
Neil Johnson also contributed to this story