Man claims police officer sold him knockoff watch for $200

Man claims police officer sold him knockoff watch for $200

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It may look nice, but Eric Essler says the designer watch he bought off Craigslist is a fake. It may look nice, but Eric Essler says the designer watch he bought off Craigslist is a fake.
WOODHAVEN, Mich. (WJBK) -

A 20-year-old college student says he was scammed out of $200 by a Woodhaven police officer.

Around Christmastime, Eric Essler searched on Craigslist for a Movado watch. He found one he liked and decided to meet up to make the deal.

"When a police officer tells you he's working that day and that we can do this transaction in a parking lot where he works, you usually trust that," Essler says. "I didn't think there would be anything wrong with doing it there or anything wrong with the watch at all."

The watch may look nice, but the student says that shouldn't fool you.

Essler learned the watch was a fake a few months later, when he took it to a jeweler to be cleaned. They told him it was worth $35.

Essler alerted Woodhaven Police to the situation. He told them about the deal he made on police property.

Usually, meeting at a police station to conduct business is a good idea, but if you're a police officer on duty, it's not.

Police Chief Michael Graham tells Fox 2 the officer was disciplined for conducting personal business on city time. He also says the officer is "a lot of things, but he's not a crook."

Essler says the officer isn't a cooperator, either. He says he has reached out to the officer repeatedly to make this right.

However, Essler says the officer has blocked his number and stopped answering his calls.

"He's fed up with this, but I'm equally fed up with this," Essler says.

The officer in question says he believes the watch is authentic. He says he bought it about eight years ago for $1,000 and that if the young man was scammed, he was scammed, too.

Essler says he just wants his $200 back. He is considering taking the officer to court.

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