Police: Man Took Rolex In ‘Bait-And-Switch’ Theft

CHICAGO (CBS) — A northwest suburban man selling his Rolex watch for more than $5,000 got quite the rude surprise when he opened the envelope containing the cash and only found $150.

As a result, Cristian Daniel Constantinescu, 25, faces one felony count of theft, according to Vernon Hills police.

On Oct. 15, the victim reported to police that he had met Constantinescu at Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills to sell his Rolex, which he had listed for sale on the OfferUp website for $5,500.

He met Constantinescu at the mall, where the watch and money exchanged hands, police said. Constantinescu then told the victim he would put the money into an envelope, so the victim handed the cash back to him. Constantinescu handed the envelope back, and the two went their separate ways.

The victim later discovered the envelope contained only $150, mostly in singles.

On Oct. 24, police learned Constantinescu was possibly preparing to conduct another transaction in a western suburb, police said. He was then taken into custody.

Constantinescu, whose home address was not known, remains at the Lake County Jail on a $250,000 bond, police said. He is scheduled to appear in Waukegan on Friday.

“Police remind everyone to be extremely cautious and alert when conducting an Internet-related transaction,” a statement from police said.

The Vernon Hills Police Department facility has been designated an Internet Transaction Safe Zone for conducting such transactions 24 hours a day.

 (Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2017. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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