SUGAR LAND, TX (KTRK) --A man trying to sell sneakers online was pepper-sprayed and punched before his merchandise was stolen, according to a Sugar Land Police Department spokesman.
The victim spoke exclusively with Eyewitness News and asked that his name not be used.
He said he's sold shoes on Craigslist for about two years now and he's met many good people, but this last experience was anything but routine.
"At first, he wanted to meet me in the parking lot. I was like, 'No, come inside,'" he said.
The victim said he felt something was suspicious. He retreated into a bathroom hoping the potential buyer would leave. Instead, the robber followed him inside.
"He did all the right things. He met in a public place. He had a phone with him," said Doug Adolph, spokesman for Sugar Land police.
Police released surveillance video from the First Colony Mall saying it shows the suspect enter the bathroom empty-handed and emerge with shopping bags full of stolen shoes worth about $600.
"In the bathroom, (the robber) got right next to me. He was telling me do you see something in my eyes. And that's how he sprayed me," the victim said.
The victim's injuries were minor and he said he's grateful he only lost shoes- something he knows can be easily replaced.
He said he hopes the robber is caught before striking again, and he has advice for other Craigslist sellers.
SURVEILLANCE VIDEO: Alleged attacker at First Colony Mall
"Follow your instincts," he said. "Be aware of your surroundings all the time."
Sugar Land police advise people to conduct transactions in public and suggest you don't retreat into bathrooms or fitting rooms. They also suggest having a phone on you, bringing a friend along and making sure family members know where you plan to meet.
Like many area police agencies, they've set up a spot in the parking lot of the police station so the public can have a safer place to hold transactions.
The search for the suspect continues. He's described as 6'2" and was last seen wearing athletic pants. Police believe he got away in a grey Nissan. If you have any information on him, they ask you call them at (281) 275-2020.
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