GONZALES — Two Donaldsonville brothers have been arrested after allegedly using a Craigslist ad to lure a man to Gonzales and rob him.
A Baton Rouge man and his two young children responded to a Craigslist ad to purchase two cellphones, meeting the alleged seller at the Magnolia Crossing apartment complex on La. 44 in Gonzales on Tuesday, Gonzales police Sgt. Steven Nethken said in a news release.
While in the complex’s parking lot and speaking with the alleged seller, the victim was approached by a man wearing a hoodie and a cloth over his face. Nethken said the man pointed a gun in the victim’s face and demanded money.
A struggle ensued after the victim grabbed the gun and was pulled out of his vehicle, and a single wild round was fired from the gun, Nethken said. The alleged seller then stole the victim’s wallet, and the two assailants fled the scene, he said.
During the investigation, Gonzales detectives identified a suspect who lived in the apartment complex. A search of the apartment turned up both the victim’s wallet and the gun used in the robbery, Nethken said.
Zegory Christopher Bell, 23, and Donavan Bell, 21, both of 120 Azalea Drive, Donaldsonville, were booked into Ascension Parish Prison on a single count each of armed robbery. Zegory Bell also was booked on a count of illegal use of weapons.
“We’re asking members of the public to be especially vigilant at this time of the year,” Nethken said. “We (law enforcement) every year see an escalation in crime during the holiday season and ask the public to be careful while they are out shopping or celebrating the season. We want everyone to have a happy holiday season and to not end up in a traumatic event that they will not soon forget.”
The widely used online network Craigslist consists of local classified ads and forums that are community moderated and largely free, according to the company’s website.