Craigslist meet-up ends deadly for Tampa man

Posted at 6:26 PM, Feb 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-02 18:26:16-05

TAMPA, Fla., - A Craigslist meet-up left a Tampa man shot and killed Tuesday night.

Tampa Police say James Beck, 44, arranged to sell his son's dirt bike to a potential buyer on Craigslist when a suspect shot and killed him.

"He was a wonderful man. He had a great sense of humor. He always knew how to make someone laugh," said Stuart Beck, his son.

The dirt bike Beck was killed for, a precious gift to his son for Christmas.

"He taught me how to ride. It started as his hobby and it moved on to mine," Stuart said.

A father, friend and neighbor now gone but his memory still bringing a smile to their faces.

"He was energetic and funny and I thought oh my gosh what a hot mess just moved in next door," said Christine Finnell, a longtime neighbor. "I still can't believe he's not here."

Tampa Police arrested two teens who are now facing first degree murder and robbery charges.

A senseless tragedy Fort Myers Police wants to prevent.

They've created an E-Commerce Exchange safe zone with 24 hour video surveliance where people can conduct transactions safely. The program was started in light of increasing incidents locally and nationally where online sellers are becoming increasingly at risk of being targeted.

"In a lot of cases the seller gets robbed when they meet wherever they meet, at a street corner, at a gas station, in the parking lot somewhere so we figured we'd supply them a safe place under 24 hour video surveillance where they can meet here and do it. If somebody doesn't want to meet someone here then it's obviously not legitamate," said Former Police Chief Dennis Eads.

The safe zones are located on the east parking lots at the department headquarters. During normal business hours, the public can also use the department's lobby to handle transactions.