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Tampa, Florida -- The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is investigating an increase of Craigslist scams in the Tampa area.

Over the past several months, detectives have seen a lot of Craigslist related rip-offs between suspects posing as buyers and legitimate sellers.

Reportedly, the suspect will look on Craigslist and find items for sale such as a cell phone, television, or paintball gun. The suspect then contacts the person selling and make arrangements to meet at a public place.

Once the suspect and seller meet, the suspect will physically handle the item as if to inspect it and then run away once they get their hands on it, or snatch the item as soon as they get there.

Currently, there are three similar cases near the Plantation Key Apartments, located in Brandon. In each of these cases, a lone black male suspect has committed the crimes.

In two cases, paintball guns were stolen after the suspect simply asked to look at the gun and then ran away with the property.

So far a minor has been arrested in one of these cases and once arrested, the suspect admitted he was a previous victim of the same type of scam where he had his cell phone taken from him from an alleged buyer.

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