Outbreak of Craigslist Thefts Hit CSU East Bay

Courtesy of Sgt. Kevin Gonzalez

Keely Wong and Kaliva Morgan
Editor-in-Chief and Campus Editor

Please contact Sgt. Kevin Gonzalez if you have more
information about these crimes.

Three cases of grab-and-run thefts involving Craigslist were reported on the CSU East Bay campus during the month of February, according to university police.

The last theft happened on Feb. 27, where a local high schooler attempted to buy a $2,000 laptop he found on Craigslist, according to the police report.

The reports said the 15-year-old met with the CSUEB student in the library and fled before the purchase; university police caught the teenager soon after.

College students typically have less finances, but they still have valuable items that make them vulnerable to grab-and-run thefts occurring on university campuses, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

“[It’s] something new,” said Sergeant Kevin Gonzales, who mentions they have not had incidents of theft through Craigslist before on campus.

The other two grab-and-run thefts involved residents of Union City and Fremont who were meeting at CSUEB for transactions by the West Loop, according to police reports. Both were selling electronics and were approached by unknown male suspects on campus.

Two male, Middle Eastern men, between the ages of 16 to 18, were identified as suspects in the Fremont case of a stolen iPhone, which happened on Feb. 10, according to the report. Gonzales says the two separate cases are not linked to the most recent incident and also mentions that Craiglist thieves will sometimes return to the site to sell stolen items.

According to The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, off-campus students should have renter’s insurance. This insurance charges students between roughly $15 to $30 a month to cover electronics, clothes, bicycles and other items that have a higher potential of being stolen. Insurance commissioners say parents should put their children on their own homeowner’s policy, especially for students living on campus. They say they will cover up to 10 percent of the value of the homeowner’s policy.

Moreover, Gonzales says there are preventative measures students and residents can take when making purchases online. He says to take down the information of your electronics to make it easier for law enforcement to track down stolen items.

“If [people] are going to have any kind of belongings in their car, they really should have – with the computer – on file all the information: serial number, model, make,” he said.

The sergeant explained the Department of Justice uses a universal automotive property system that tracks information of stolen items.

If you have information regarding these cases please contact UPD services at 510-885-3791.