Police say ad led to robbery

NEW PALESTINE — It was a Craigslist exchange gone wrong, police said.

A woman met a stranger at a New Palestine gas station shortly before 9 p.m., hoping to negotiate a price for the cellphone she was trying to sell online. But the man pulled a gun, snatched the device away from her and fled from the Speedway in the 5000 block of U.S. 52, police said.

The woman dialed 911 on another cellphone and provided a description of the man and the car he was driving. Police spotted the car shortly thereafter.

Eric Floyd, 33, of Indianapolis, was jailed early Tuesday and faces a charge of robbery, according to jail records.

Investigators are weighing whether two passengers who were in the car at the time and witnessed the incident also should be held responsible.

The incident left the woman shaken, but it could have been much worse, New Palestine Police Chief Bob Ehle said. He warned those who use Craigslist and other sites like it to be careful.

“You just have to be cautious,” Ehle said. “If it feels like too good of a deal, it probably is.”

The woman had arranged to meet Floyd at the gas station after he expressed interest in buying the iPhone 6 Plus she had been trying to sell on Craigslist.

The two spoke briefly in the parking lot before the suspect took the phone from the woman, Ehle said. When the woman called after him, the suspect flashed a gun, Ehle said, and told her not to follow him.

The suspect then climbed into a car and drove from the parking lot. The woman called 911 to report the robbery, and New Palestine Police officers pulled the car over near the intersection of county roads 300S and 600W, Ehle said.

Police obtained a search warrant and found a gun and the cellphone in the suspect’s car, Ehle said.

The robbery is still under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 317-861-4225.

Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.