Vigilant Mom Busts Men Online Trying To Sell Son’s Stolen Laptop

Posted at 5:14 PM, Jul 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-03 21:00:28-04

A vigilant mom may have helped to stop a crime spree undertaken by two men near Western’s campus.

The men appeared to be stealing electronics from students and others who live in the area.

Kalamazoo Public Safety Officials say they found more than $1,000 in stolen property at an apartment on the 1300 block of California Street.

The items included laptops, cellphones and television sets, anything electronic that could easily be transported and sold.

One of the victims was a student.

Investigators say his mother was patrolling on Craig’s List when her son’s laptop caught her eye.

“The mother of the first victim said she saw it on Craig’s list and when she called to inquire about it and he read her the serial number and it matched, so they bartered a deal,” said Victor Ledbetter, Captain of the Criminal Investigations Division with the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety.

After setting up the meeting, mother and son called the Public Safety Officers and they surprised the man selling the computer and questioned him, leading back to other stolen items.

Officers say often times students are targeted because they tend to leave doors or windows open and unlocked, creating crimes of opportunity.

“A lot of those are students who sometimes leave doors open for other roommates or leave things in the open, a car unlocked that attracts a few predators to the area.” said Ledbetter. “So people need to be very mindful of securing their items.”

He also suggests that people document the serial numbers on their electronics, save the receipt and take a photo of the item to help investigators recover property if it is stolen.

The men will face charges of receiving and concealing stolen property.

If you have any information on the crimes, your asked to contact the Kalamazoo Public Safety Offices at 269-337-8994 or Silent Observer at 343-2100.