LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Lufkin Police Department is investigating a theft that allegedly occurred late Sunday afternoon when a woman who was trying to sell her iPhone met with an unknown man, and he pushed his way into her car window to steal the phone.
It all started as what was supposed to be an ordinary online transaction.
"But then you never know who's out there," said Evelyn Mendoza.
The frightening memory of exactly who Evelyn Mendoza encountered Sunday has her on edge tonight.
"He tried to get in the car, and I was like, 'No, sorry my little girl's in the back. You can't come in,'" Mendoza said.
Mendoza, like thousands of others, decided that an online sell would work best when trying to make some extra cash off of her iPhone 6.
"And then he's like 'Well, let me see it first.' I told my boyfriend to let him see it, and I passed my boyfriend the box," Mendoza said.
However, when it came for the transaction in the 1400 block of Houston St, the would-be buyer had a plan of his own.
"He tried to jump in my car to get the box. He was able to grab the box," Mendoza said.
The man took off on foot with Mendoza's $500 iPhone, but not before her boyfriend stepped in.
"My boyfriend got out of the car, but as soon as he got out of the car, the guy took something out of his pocket. So I said, 'Maybe it's a gun,' and I told my boyfriend to jump back in the car, let's just call the police," Mendoza said.
It's a scenario authorities are hoping to see less of.
"You may be looking at their site thinking it's them but it could be somebody else," said Sheriff Greg Sanches, Angelina County Sheriff's Office. "And so when you meet like that, you don't know who you're meeting, what kind of person they are, or anything. That's why it's important to take precautions."
Sanches said it's simple precautions like trusting your gut instinct when engaging in an online sale that may save your life.
"Anytime that somebody's wanting to not go to the place that you want to go that you know is a safe zone area, then that is a sign that something's wrong," Sanches said.
The incident is still under investigation. They say if you do choose to buy or sell online, the department's lobby is a designated safe zone, where all action is recorded.