By Liz Collin

By Liz Collin, WCCO-TV

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities teenager went to buy a cell phone but ended up with a bruised face and out 300 bucks.

Yuriy Gula, 18, considers buying cell phones a part-time job as he surfs Craigslist for deals. He found a good deal Thursday on a fancy new phone, but didn’t expect the deal would go down like it did.

“He told me he was getting off work in 30 minutes, and I should meet him at a specific address,” Gula said.

That address in St. Paul sits on a busy street. Gula was with his cousin when they drove around to the alley.

“He gave me the phone and it had no charger, no box for the phone, so I’m like, ‘$300 and I’ll take it,’” Gula said.

Instead of trading, two men took Gula’s money and phone, and then one of them punched him in the face.

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“I’m just glad it wasn’t a knife or a gun or anything, you know,” Gula said.

After Gula was punched, the two guys ran off. That’s when he got in his car and tried to follow them.

St. Paul Police Spokesperson, John Keating, says it’s best just to get yourself out of a situation like that as fast as you can.

“If someone does encounter a problem in one of these, we ask they call police immediately,” Keating said.

Police also want people to let other people know where they’re going and, most importantly, to arrange such deals in a public place.

Gula knows that now.

“It’s an expensive lesson to learn,” he said.

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St. Paul Police told WCCO-TV they’ll be taking a good look at that listing Gula responded to. They don’t think whoever posted it on Craigslist lived at the address where Gula met them.

Liz Collin