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The second-greatest Craigslist pepper spray caper of all time

A man offering a laptop for sale on Craiglist delivered a pepper-spraying to the face instead.


Kevin Morris

Internet Culture

Posted on Jan 3, 2013   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 4:21 am CDT

Police in New York City are looking for a man who pretended to sell a laptop on Craigslist only to pepper-spray the would-be buyer in the face and steal his cash.

It all transpired the morning after Christmas in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx, N.Y. A 27-year-old man, responding to the Craigslist ad for a $350 used laptop, approached the seller and handed over his cash. But instead of a laptop, he received a blast of pepper spray to his face.

The thief immediately fled the scene. Police have yet to catch him, though they have released a photograph of the suspect.

Amazingly, this is not the first time a brazen theft, Craigslist, and weaponized capsaicin have intersected for a bizarre crime story.

Back in 2008, Anthony Curcio, 28, pepper-sprayed a pair of armored truck security guards, disabling them and wresting away a bag filled with $400,000 in cash. Curcio, donning a wig and a facemask, had a devious trick up his sleeve. Earlier, he’d placed an ad on Craigslist, offering a simple job: Show up outside the Bank of America in Monroe, Washington, dressed up in a wig and facemask.

As the decoys unknowingly distracted policed, Curcio hopped into an inner tube waiting for him in a nearby creek and floated away. He was eventually caught, however, this time without any decoys to save him. He was sentenced to six years in prison.

The solution to this growing trend of pepper spray crimes? More pepper spray, of course. The next time you answer that Craigslist ad for that used $20 La-Z-Boy, make sure you show up packing some heat.

Photo via DonkeyHotey/Flickr

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*First Published: Jan 3, 2013, 1:50 pm CST