Craigslist murder suspects could be connected to other robberies

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Two robbery victims tell Fox59 they may have been attacked by the same men accused of killing a local veteran who was trying to buy an iPad he saw advertised on Craigslist.

The two brothers accused of killing the Iraq War veteran appeared in court Tuesday morning. Nineteen-year-old Tryon and 18-year-old Tyshaune Kincade are charged with two counts of murder and one count each of robbery.  An automatic not guilty plea was entered on the brothers’ behalf.

Police say the brothers shot Sgt. First Class Jim Vester, who died last week after answering a Craigslist ad for an iPad at an apartment on the west side. Vester had a wife and young son.

In the courtroom Tuesday, a judge granted a no contact order banning the brothers from speaking with their mother while they await trial.

According to court documents, investigators recovered a cell phone matching the number Vester contacted when answering the Craigslist ad. The phone was inside a vehicle Tyshaune Kincade was driving. That same number was also stored inside Kincade’s mother’s cell phone with a photo of her son assigned to the contact.

During their search of the Kincade’s home, the teens’ mother also showed detectives where the handgun was typically stored in the home. She said it was missing and the only people who would have had access to it would have been her sons.

Court documents also linked the brothers to several other crimes carried out in similar fashion. The same phone number used in Vester’s Craigslist deal was involved in the following crimes:

  • Oct. 15 – Person held up and handed over $100 and a Samsung Galaxy cell phone after arranging a deal on Craigslist
  • Nov. 5 – Craigslist robbery in which suspects took $350 in cash along with an LG cell phone and an iPhone 4
  • Nov. 23 – Suspects took an HTC cell phone, iPhone 4 and $350 in a Craigslist robbery
  • Nov. 30 – Man tried to buy an iPhone off Craigslist and made arrangements to meet the seller; he was greeted by two men armed with guns and held up

Scott Pilloud told Fox59 News that one of the suspects from the Vester murder looked similar to one of the men who robbed him and his friend. Pilloud just got back from the hospital Tuesday, after having knee surgery.

His friend bought a phone off Craigslist, and Pilloud went with her to the parking lot of a local apartment complex, where the two were robbed.

“You go from rage to anger, that somebody’s able to do that to you,” said Pilloud. “Can you really trust anybody anymore?”

Benjamin Ramey said he was also robbed, under similar circumstances.

“As soon as I got out of the car to purchase the phone, the man pulled a gun on me and demanded that I give him my money” Ramey said.

It’s the kind of thing police want you to learn from. They suggest customers know who they’re buying from online. And if you’re not really sure, try to use a site like Ebay instead that can deliver the merchandise to your home.

If you have to meet someone in person to buy something or sell something, take someone with you, and meet in a very public place. In fact, police even suggest meeting outside a local police station or somewhere similar so that any criminals are scared off.