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Craigslist ad leads to alleged robbery, crash
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A Foothills woman was sprayed in the face with pepper spray and robbed Wednesday when a man came to her home in response to an advertisement she had placed on Craigslist selling some of her jewelry, according to the Yuma County Sheriff's Office.
The suspect, John Spily, 27, of Winterhaven, was arrested shortly after he caused a two-car collision while fleeing the scene. Spily made his initial appearance in Yuma Justice Court Thursday afternoon.
Spily allegedly contacted the woman saying he was interested in buying her jewelry and made arrangements to meet with her, according to Maj. Leon Wilmot of YCSO. Then shortly before 6 p.m., Spily allegedly went to the woman's home in the 12000 block of Jolene Avenue, where the two met in her front yard.
After inspecting the jewelry, Spily allegedly reached into his pocket, and instead of pulling out money he pulled out a can of pepper spray and sprayed the victim in the face.
“The victim drove herself to the hospital to get checked out, which is how we connected the two cases,” Wilmot said.
About five minutes later as he was fleeing the scene, according to YCSO, Spily caused a two-car collision in the vicinity of 40th Street and Foothills Boulevard. The accident resulted in four people being transported to the hospital, where at least two remained in serious condition Thursday.
Spily, who was the only occupant of his vehicle, had to be extricated by firefighters using the Jaws of Life. The vehicle he hit, which had been traveling north on Foothills Boulevard, had three occupants, all of whom were transported to Yuma Regional Medical Center.
Wilmot said he is pleased the victim was not seriously injured in the incident, but added it shows just how dangerous it can be to sell items over the Internet. He said people doing so should never give out their names or phone numbers.
He said sellers should arrange to meet potential buyers in a public place, along with the company of a friend.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854.