Skip to main content

Meeting to finish online sale ends with group robbed at gunpoint

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A group trying to complete an online sale ended up being robbed at gunpoint.

This embed is invalid

It happened around 9 p.m. Sunday near the Cromwell Pavilion in Cromwell, the Carlton County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

The victims had made arrangements with the suspects online to possibly finalize a sale. But when they met, the two suspects pulled out a handgun, robbed the group and fled.

Carlton County Sheriff's Office Investigator Dan Danielson told BringMeTheNews it wasn't a typical "Craigslist deal gone wrong" situation, but said he could not offer details because it's an active investigation.

He said they're "investigating the relationship between the groups," figuring out if there was a previous connection, and what it might have been.

Danielson also said he can not say at this point what was being sold, or how much it was worth.

The victims gave descriptions to police, and Duluth police located the vehicle and made two arrests. Both suspects – a 19-year-old from Cromwell, and a 20-year-old from Duluth – were arrested.

They're in custody, awaiting charges.

Safe spots for online swaps

While this situation wasn't a Craigslist deal gone wrong, these types of robberies have increased over the past decade, as the internet has become a more popular place to find buyers and sellers, the Better Business Bureau says.

In response,police departments and sheriff's offices have been setting up safe swap spot – a lot of time they're in brightly lit, on-camera spaces at law enforcement offices, so people can feel safe meeting strangers they connected with online to complete a sale.

So for example the Shakopee Police Department has one, which it reminded people after a cellphone sale turned into a robbery, which then led to a Wal-Mart parking lot shootout.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office launched some last summer, where a deputy can be present if requested. Otherwise they’re just in the lobby of the three sheriff’s office buildings, open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Danielson said the Cromwell Police Department and Carlton County Sheriff's Office do not have a specific swap spot for people, and said it hasn't really been an issue for them.

"I guess our area’s been pretty quiet," he said. "Not that we’re immune from it, but that hasn’t been an issue here."

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-20 at 6.49.01 AM

Deadly night in St. Paul sees 3 people killed, 1 arrest so far

The three incidents bring St. Paul's homicide total up to 18 this year.

police lights

2 killed in broad daylight drive-by shooting in Robbinsdale

The identities of the victims have not been released.

Seatbelted driver.

Road deaths involving unbelted people rose again in 2021

This is the second year in a row that the number has gone up.

hennepin sheriff hutchinson screengrab facebook

Hennepin Co. Sheriff Dave Hutchinson on paid leave for health reasons

The sheriff, who was recently convicted of drunk-driving, is set to stand down later this year.

Crane Lake

Flooding expected to worsen in MN's Arrowhead region

Hundreds of private homes are at-risk in northern St. Louis County.

St. Paul Police crash

St. Paul police: Kids in stolen car rammed squad, hid in porta-potty

The incident sent the Minnesota Capitol into a brief lockdown.


Watch: Storm updates after heavy hail slams Twin Cities

Sven Sundgaard is providing an update after Thursday's flash hail storm.

kim crockett facebook sos

MN GOP apologizes over antisemitic sequence in candidate's campaign video

Party leader says candidate didn't know the imagery perpetuated an antisemitic trope.

storm, severe

Tornado, severe thunderstorm watches issued in Minnesota

In addition to possible tornadoes, there is a threat for damaging winds and very large hail.

House sale keys door

High prices, stiff competition putting off homebuyers in Twin Cities

Prices continue to rise in the metro, but there are signs of buyer fatigue.

Screen Shot 2022-05-19 at 1.59.51 PM

Series of explosions at manufacturing plant injures 6 in Wisconsin

The blast rocked the Wisconsin town just before 7:45 a.m.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Medford man dies in Le Sueur County crash

The 49-year-old was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.


Police: Teens lured victims with online purchases before robbing them

Two teens are suspected of luring victims by buying goods online and ordering food, before robbing people when they delivered.

Latour maher

Man was driving group around, then they robbed him at gunpoint

Police are still on the lookout for one of the suspects involved.

State politician is robbed at gunpoint in St. Paul

The lawmaker was walking on Milton Street when he was held up.