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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A story,and a lesson in situational awareness.

This was sent in by blog buddy Leigh...

My boss has been looking for a large box truck for his business. After browsing Craig's List, he decided on two to look at. The first was a retired U-Haul truck down in Albany. It was totally clapped out. The next was a furniture delivery truck. The picture in the ad showed a pretty decent looking truck. The poster of the ad was a text only contact. After passing the furniture store shown one the side of the truck, the directions took him a few blocks further along. The street dead-ended at a block house, and no truck.
He was just starting to text the contact, when three young males approached him - two white, one black. They asked if he was the guy looking for the truck. He said that he was, and got out of the car.
While talking to the three, he started to get a bad feeling about the whole deal - the price seemed too good to be true, three individuals who didn't seem like the type to own such a vehicle, and no truck. They also couldn't give any solid answers regarding the vehicle such as mileage, the type of engine, or transmission. Also, he noticed that as he was talking to the one guy, the other two were kind of wandering around. The hair really went up when he realized they were angling to come up behind him. When he inquired where the truck was, they pointed through a gap in a a chain-link fence to an empty lot. They were trying to lure him out of sight so they could roll him.
The leader then asked him, "You got the money?".
At this point he really realized just how deep of shit he was in. He told them he had the money, just not on him at the moment. He told them he would drive around to the other street that the lot was on, and meet them there. They protested, and still tried to get him to get him off of the main street. Still being out in plain sight he got back into his car, and hauled ass! Once he got well clear of the area, he tried to pull up the ad - and sure enough, it was gone.

Mind you, my boss is not a gullible person. Being a suburb of Troy, New York's Chicago on the Hudson, he knew the neighborhood wasn't the best area. So that put his level of attention up a notch. Passing the named furniture store, he relaxed somewhat. Ending up on a dead end street, with a trio of shifty characters trying to lead him out into an empty lot had the alarms screaming in his head. Fast talking and quick thinking kept him from being another statistic.

He and I discussed what happened to him that day:
  1. An ad for a piece of equipment that was too good to be true.
  2. A bad neighborhood.
  3. Shifty characters that knew nothing about what they were selling.
  4. The item for sale was no where to be seen.
While he managed to escape with nothing more than a bad scare, had he not trusted his instincts, it could have ended much worse....robbed, beaten, or even killed. It happens down there every day.
So be aware of your surroundings, and every thing in it. Don't let yourself be a victim of your own complacence.

Here are some more tips on this linkedin post:



  1. Don't go by yourself. Period. No "buts". Don't do it.

  2. I sometimes sell things or buy things that have been advertised online. I always go well armed when I go to make the deal but I am lucky here in NY to be able to do so legally. In addition, when I am selling something, I always suggest a well known public place like a shopping center parking lot. That is not always an option when replying to someone else's ad for something I want though. So, I try to be careful by starting off the process by asking a bunch of questions, either via email or the phone, before I even consider actually going to see the item. I also ask them to email me more photos. If they give me BS answers, don't have photos, seem edgy, want me to come or whatever along those lines - I decline. You certainly do need to be careful I such dealings. The advice to never go alone is good to a certain extent but for me, having someone to go with me is usually not an option. So, as I said, I take along one of my friends Mr. Glock or Pietro Beretta and always have Mr. Justin Case with me.

  3. This confirms what I suspected about a number of ads from Troy that I saw while temporarily living in the Albany area. Glad I ignored them.

  4. Jesus, you can't even buy a truck anymore. I will heed everyones advice since I know I would have just gone to look at that truck. Certainly, for sure, I will take along Mr. Justin Case that Mr. Glenn B recommends. Mr. Case doesn't take up that much space and is quiet during the ride unless something would provoke him!!!

  5. Go armed, or don't go at all. The minute he saw more than one person he should have kept driving. You don't need a crew to sell a used truck.


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