Weird transaction today, good ending, no crimes.
I had a snowmobile advertised on Craigslist here in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains. Its kind of a tough sell, a 2006 Polaris RMK 900 with under 1000 miles on it. Not a popular sled because the preceeding year had serious engine defects. I got a call at 6:30 last night, caller ID says "Cell phone, Florida". The guy says he is about 50 miles north of me on a winter RV trip and they are buying the exact same sled early morning from a guy in Reno, and want to buy mine with trailer before noon. We discuss things and settle on a price, in cash. Then he asks me to deliver it and meet at the town market, for an extra payment for fuel, as motorhomes really eat gas. OK, I'll play, I have friends that need visiting there. He shows up, not in the pickup with hitch he said he would, but a car without one. He has his dad (about 50, seems nice enough) with him, he inspects the sled and likes it, and flashes a stack of cash. Now, I'm not too worried, because the usual CL robbery involves baiting someone to show up with cash, not a registered vehicle. He asks if i can follow him back to his brother's, near a small town known for drug addicts, although I'm not feeling the junkie vibe that I am good at detecting. OK, I have my .45 on my hip and an LCP in my Carharrt. Driving along I called a buddy on the cell and gave him a plate number road name, and description, told him I was going out of cell range and he should hear from me in two hours. Then the car pulls over, the guy comes back and says 'Dad's going to go back and get a 2 inch tow ball, I'll ride with you, I said OK. While he was going back to tell dad, I pulled .45 from right hip and put it under left thigh. We go down a long dead end forested road, and up a driveway. "Bro" comes out showing neck tattoos. Now I'm a bit concerned, but spot the motorhome and the other Polaris. The guy then pulls out $5500 in twenties and tens, neatly rubber banded in $500 bundles. I didn't see any signs of counterfeit, so I count it, sign some papers, all the while not letting anyone get behind me. We shake hands and i went home happy and relieved. Much ado about nothing, but my lesson is that it's not always as bad as it appears. Improvise, adapt, overcome. These guys are heading to Idaho, Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, etc. I wish i could go.