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Monday, September 20, 2010


Memo to robbers: Sheriff is not best target

Targeted by Craigslist armed robbery scheme, Ada sheriff says: 'I think it's hilarious'


Jamie Grey

updated 9/18/2010 6:45:29 PM ET

BOISE -- Two men suspected of robbing a man at gunpoint in Boise last week were caught Thursday night because they tried the same scheme on Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney, according to police.

Boise Police say the robbers pretend to be selling computers on Craigslist, and when the would-be customer arrives for a sale, the men rob them.

Raney said he was off-duty and just looking to buy an Apple laptop for a good deal, but said he ended up stumbling upon two men who he says would have robbed him.

"In all of the ads just in Boise out there in Craigslist, this is a popular item. There had to be a lot of responses, and for them to have that great luck to pick the sheriff to try to scam and try to rob, I think, good for them because they're going to be in jail a while," said Raney.

Twenty-year-old Dominic Hinton of Boise and 19-year-old Roman Nazarko of Caldwell are charged with felony robbery and other crimes.

Sheriff spotted danger, called police

Raney says he saw the computer listing on Craigslist and agreed to meet the seller near a gated subdivision in Garden City. As he got close to the neighborhood, the supposed seller tried to change plans over the phone

"As I got near the area, the caller told me to pull off onto the side of the road into the parking lot of some businesses that were dark and nobody was around," Raney said.

The sheriff says that was a warning sign and he became suspicious, eventually calling Garden City Police for help.

"I called Garden City Police and talked to Sergeant Little there and said, 'I think this is a robbery that's going to happen, so you come in from that side and I'll come in from this side and let's see what happens.'"

After spotting the men and a brief chase, the sergeant and the sheriff were able to arrest the two robbers.

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"In this case, I'm thankful that it was me, that I was prepared to react, that I used good common sense, but it could have been somebody innocent there that could have been hurt, but [the suspects are] in jail, and that's where they ought to be," said Raney.

A strange coincidence, to say the least

The irony of the situation isn't lost on Raney who laughs at the strange coincidence.

"I think it's hilarious," Raney said. "I kept myself safe the whole time. I was never in danger. I was smart enough to do that. And they went away [to jail]. The only thing better than laughing at arresting criminals is laughing at arresting dumb criminals."

Raney says he hopes by sharing his story, others will be careful if something doesn't seem right. He's also glad he was the one meeting the criminals last night instead of someone who may have fallen prey.



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