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Craigslist ad leads to robbery in Winter Haven

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Previous booking photo for Javarius Antwane Samuel Previous booking photo for Javarius Antwane Samuel
WINTER HAVEN, FL (WFLA) -

The Winter Haven Police Department reported that it arrested one man and is asking for the public's help locating a second suspect who used the online classified Website "Craigslist" to violently rob two unsuspecting victims from Sarasota.

Authorities say that on Tuesday, April 23rd at approximately 6:40 p.m., 21-year-old Jamar Octavious Lynch and 21-year-old Javarius Antwane Samuel of Haines City met with victims Russell Myers and Ryan Snyder of Sarasota, who had posted a 1997 Yamaha Banshee Twin ATV for sale on Craigslist.  

When Myers and Snyder arrived at the meeting location at Palm Dr. NE, Samuel escorted them to Lake Maude Park in Winter Haven. Samuel told the victims he was waiting for his cousin to bring the money for the ATV.

Authorities say When Lynch arrived, both Samuel and Lynch attacked Myers, punching him in the face.  Snyder jumped on the ATV in an attempt to start the vehicle.  Lynch said that he "was packing" implying that he had a weapon. Samuel then grabbed Snyder and pulled him off the ATV and fled on the ATV.  Lynch left in a maroon Saturn with a white stripe, which was later located in Haines City.

Authorities report that warrants were obtained for both Lynch and Samuel.  On Friday, April 26, authorities say Lynch was arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail for Robbery.  The warrant obtained for Samuel is for Robbery (F-2), Use of Electronic Communication to Facilitate a Felony (F-3) and Felony Battery (F-3). 

Samuel is still at large and Police are asking the public to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (8477) with any information on Samuel's whereabouts. Callers can remain anonymous and could be eligible for a CASH reward.

"The popular website, Craigslist, is widely used, but anyone utilizing this service must take extra precaution in these transactions," said Chief Gary Hester. "Whether a seller or buyer, citizens should never travel to a location that is unfamiliar. Always make arrangements to meet somewhere in between and with high visibility to the general public. If the buyer or seller isn't willing to accommodate those requests, then it may not be worth the risk.

These two victims are fortunate they didn't sustain more serious injuries due to the violent nature of the crime."

 

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