Springdale police are looking for a possible connection between two armed robberies that occurred in the early morning hours in the same area, but one week apart.
A man was hospitalized early Wednesday morning after police said he was robbed and beaten while meeting a girl from Craigslist.
The victim and the girl arranged to meet at Foxfire Apartments in Springdale around 3:30 a.m. When the man pulled into the parking lot, three males covering their faces with bandanas appeared and pulled him out of his car, according to the Springdale Police Department.
One of the suspects struck the victim in the face with a silver handgun. The suspects then dragged the victim behind a nearby building and took his cell phone, wallet and keys. They also removed his socks and shoes, police said.
The victim ran barefoot and bloody to the Heritage Inn on Sunset Avenue and called police. He was later transported to Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville, where he was treated for minor injuries and released, said Lt. Derek Hudson with Springdale police.
The victim could not give extensive information to police about the suspects, other than that they were wearing blue and white bandanas.
A week earlier at the same location—just north of Robinson Avenue on West End Street—another man told police he was robbed and gunpoint, losing his iPhone and $1,000 in cash.
The man told police he had driven from his home in Fort Smith to the Foxfire Apartments to meet a friend at 3 a.m. When he approached the West End and Robinson intersection, two black cars were stopped in front of him. A suspect in a black hooded sweatshirt exited one of the cars, approached the man, and pointed a black handgun at him, the victim told police.
Hudson said police are more-closely monitoring the area after the similar crimes in the same area exactly one week apart. Hudson warned that anyone meeting someone from Craigslist should take precautions, such as meeting them in a public place or a well-lit area.
An employee with Foxfire Apartments chose not to comment. Police have not released the names of either victim, and the investigation continues.