A mother wanted to give her son, who is turning 18 this week, a gift he would never forget. But what they got was an experience they never want to repeat.
The woman told police she went on Craigslist to buy a car for her son, but when she went to check it out Sunday, something went terribly wrong. Now she's warning others to be cautious.
"I could have lost my son, my best friend and my own life today," Pauline Barker said.
Barker says she fears for her safety after she answered an ad posted on Craigslist selling a 2006 Ford Mustang GT for $4,500.
She thought it would be a great birthday gift for her son.
"I was doing something special for him and wanted to be able to do that, because he is a great kid," she said.
Barker says she, her son and a friend agreed to meet the car owner at a residential area in Missouri City after several telephone conversations with the alleged seller.
"Immediately, the guns were pulled out of their pockets," Barker said.
Barker now believes the Craigslist ad was bogus and she was set up to be robbed by two men holding 9mm handguns.
"I was going to die. They had both of them to our temples. One was to my son's and one was to my best friend," Barker said.
Barker says the strange men demanded money and cell phones.
"I ripped open my wallet. He saw the money, he took the money, and then he looked at all of us again with the 9-millimeter to my son's head and said, 'give me your phones,'" Barker said.
Barker says the robbers drove from the scene in a gold-colored car that didn't have license plates. She and her son eventually flagged down police.
Houston police are now investigating the aggravated assault.
"I just don't want anyone else to have this happen to them," Barker said. "This is not something that is a game. It's serious."
We did some checking. As of late Sunday evening, that car ad remained on Craigslist, but the number attached to it was no longer viable.
Barker is asking anyone with information about the thieves to call Houston police.
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