With the proliferation of online buying and selling sites such as Kijiji and Craigslist, and the use of Facebook groups to barter goods, police are reminding people to take care when meeting to complete sales.
Even when sellers and buyers take precautions, things can go sideways, as one Red Deer woman learned after being robbed at gunpoint on Wednesday, Dec. 7.
The victim met with a woman who expressed interest in buying a ring valued at $3,000. As a precaution, she met the woman in a public place, a business parking lot in the south of Red Deer.
The woman met the accused, Karla Pittman, shortly after noon in the parking lot. After a discussion, the accused invited the victim to sit in her vehicle with her. The victim did so, and Pittman allegedly then robbed her at gunpoint.
After handing over the ring, the accused was ordered out of the vehicle, and was left in the parking lot unharmed.
The victim was able to provide an accurate description of the vehicle and the accused, so much so that a composite sketch was created by a police artist, RCMP said in a press release.
The sketch quickly aided police in identifying the accused, and at 10 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 9, police executed a search warrant at Pittman’s Riverside Meadows residence.
Both Pittman and Gregory Pittman, 33, were arrested at the home without incident.
During the search, police found the stolen ring and the handgun, which turned out to also be stolen. Police also found a small amount of what is believed to be methamphetamine, as well as a powder believed to be either heroin or fentanyl.
Karla Pittman, 31, is facing a charge each of robbery with a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, careless use of a firearm, and possession of a controlled substance.
Gregory Pittman, 33, is facing a charge each of possession of a firearm contrary to a prohibition order, possession of a stolen firearm, careless use of a firearm, and possession of a controlled substance.
Both are scheduled to appear in Red Deer court on Dec. 16.