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Craigslist deal becomes robbery

LEXINGTON, S.C. – A man who planned to buy a car from a stranger he met online was instead robbed at gunpoint Saturday night.

The victim told Lexington County deputies he had arranged to pay 28-year-old Justin Allen Penzes for a car Penzes listed on Craigslist.

“The men were supposed meet at a truck stop but Penzes called the victim to say he couldn’t make it because he was having car trouble,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. “After the victim arrived at a new location on Pond Branch Road to complete the transaction, Penzes pulled a gun on him and took some cash.”

According to Koon, a passenger was with the victim at the time of the robbery. They were able to get Penzes’ license plate number as he drove away.

“Deputies arrested Penzes a short time later in the 1700 block of Two Notch Road,” Koon said. “He was found to have active arrest warrants out of Saluda County for armed robbery and the possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

“This incident serves as an important reminder to complete person-to-person transactions in a well-lighted and well-traveled public place,” Koon said. “Consider using the parking lot or the lobby of a local law enforcement agency or a location that you know has a working surveillance system, such as a major shopping center.”

Penzes is being held in the Lexington County Detention Center after a judge denied bond.

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