CHARLOTTE, N.C. – An online meet up turns into an armed robbery at an upscale shopping center.
Now, the victim tells NBC Charlotte he was trying to sell his car at the Promenade on Providence in Ballantyne.
That’s when the person he thought was buying, pulled a gun on him.
The victim told NBC Charlotte he thought he was meeting in a safe place with a lot of shoppers around. Now, he says if you’re in the same situation, go to a police department instead.
“It’s pretty traumatizing, I’m not going to lie, I’ve never had a gun pulled on me before,” he said.
The fear runs deep, deep enough for him to ask NBC Charlotte to not show his face, distort his voice, and hide his name. All of it, a far cry from what he expected at the Promenade on Providence on a busy Saturday at 11 a.m.
“I had witnesses everywhere and he still pulled it out on me,” he said.
The 20-year-old man hoped to leave with extra money from selling his car through Craigslist. Instead, he left just thankful to be alive.
The person he thought would be buying had another agenda.
“We were sitting there talking and then I say something, I look back over and he’s got a gun out and he tells me to get back,” the victim said.
The suspect then took off with his nearly $50,000 vehicle.
It’s the latest violent crime stemming from an online meetup. Last week, two teenagers were arrested for allegedly killing a college baseball player during a botched robbery over a cell phone.
The victim in the latest case says he was aware of the potential danger but thought he was at least safe at the shopping center.
“Meet at a police station or designated spot where it’s monitored if you think meeting in public in broad day light like I did is going to save you it doesn’t,” he said.
Police have not made any arrests in the case at this point. It’s an ongoing investigation.