Fake Craigslist "everything must go" ad costs man pretty much everything

Charles sez, "This Oregon resident lost almost all of his possessions including his horse (which he got back) because someone posted a craigslist ad saying that he had to move suddenly and that everything at his house was up for grabs. When he returned home to confront the people looting his house, many of them refused to give the stuff back. They simply waved a print out of the craigslist ad in his face as if that was some sort of proof that they were in the right."
Once home he was greeted by close to 30 people rummaging through his barn and front porch.

The trespassers, armed with printouts of the ad, tried to brush him off. "They honestly thought that because it appeared on the Internet it was true," Salisbury said. "It boggles the mind."

Jacksonville police and Jackson County sheriff's deputies arrived but by then several cars packed with Salisbury's property had fled.

He turned some license plate numbers over to police.

Link (Thanks, Charles!)

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  1. I actually gave away a lot of stuff via the net when I moved here (Japan). I was struck (and pretty amused) by how rude a lot of the people were who had come to collect basically all my possessions for free. The funniest thing was that while they were in my house, a lot of them would just point at stuff and say “What about that?” even though it wasn’t on the list of things I was giving away.

    I can’t really imagine going into someone’s house to get one thing he offered, and trying to turn it into an all-you-can-carry free shopping spree.

    Wait a minute… What am I saying? I ended up carrying a lot of the stuff myself. Guy came for my full-size sofa alone and just kinda looked at me when I smiled and said, “Well, there it is! I hope you get many years of use out of it!” …Oh, I see. This stuff I didn’t want to bother with moving? I’m guess I’m still moving it.

    Bah! People!

  2. wow… my work would probably bar any links that actually came up but I’m sure I’ve heard of this happening before.

    I really hope the person who posted the add was dumb enough to do it from their home comp. PLEASE!!!!!

  3. That’s just awful. Whomever posted that ad should be shipped off to Siberia and confined in a tiny little cell till the end of their days.

    Every day I lose a little more faith in humanity. not that there’s much left to lose.

  4. uh-oh. this sounds like the beginning of a very bad thing. if this becomes the way people resort to to get revenge on other people… frightening.

  5. The Craig’s List poster was a disgruntled niece. If I know my fellow Oregonians at all, a decent proportion of them were aiming to ultimately score some meth cash.

  6. #2.

    I had the opposite happen, once. I was picking up a dresser from someone, and they kept offering extra stuff I didn’t need.

  7. Why didn’t he just lock his door? Also, even if I saw a Craigslist ad saying “everything must go” I wouldn’t take anything until the person at the house confirmed it.

  8. I have to wonder about the motivation of whomsoever placed the ads.

    I can only come to two conclusions:

    A: Someone was playing a juvenile prank;

    B: Someone was righteously pissed off at that fellow and put some thought into their revenge.

    I can’t blame the people who responded to the advertisement. Many years of such adverts being placed in local papers – and dutifully checked for authenticity by the editorial staff – has primed a large swath of the older population to take such advertisements at face value.

    I also cannot blame them for blowing off the owner. For all they knew, he was just another person responding to the advertisement, and trying to swindle them out of what was ‘rightfully theirs’.

  9. This is why I’m glad the United States has the 2nd amendment and why I’m glad I own a shotgun. I wouldn’t shoot to kill but I’d shoot to make them think twice.

  10. I have to wonder about the motivation of whomsoever placed the ads.

    I can only come to two conclusions:

    A: Someone was playing a juvenile prank;

    B: Someone was righteously pissed off at that fellow and put some thought into their revenge.

    I can’t blame the people who responded to the advertisement. Many years of such adverts being placed in local papers – and dutifully checked for authenticity by the editorial staff – has primed a large swath of the older population to take such advertisements at face value.

    I also cannot blame them for blowing off the owner. For all they knew, he was just another person responding to the advertisement, and trying to swindle them out of what was ‘rightfully theirs’.

  11. @11

    Depending on your locale (I might guess it to be Brooklyn but won’t make that assumption) you could justifiably (in the legal sense) shoot to kill. Even if the ad had been legitimate it doesn’t let people on the property to start collecting things without the owner present.

    It would seem that everyone who went there is at least guilty of trespass – you do not go onto or into other people’s property and buildings without them present.

  12. Bardfinn,

    What planet do you live on? Since when do editorial staff have anything to do with fact checking ads? This is not the way newspapers work, and not the way they have ever worked. It’s all they can do to fact check what passes for news, what with the journalism end of their budgets being cut more and more every day.

    I totally blame the people who blew off the owner. I’m sure he had ID. I’m sure they couldn’t be bothered to wait and see if his response was valid. He had called the police. They were doing a scamper.

    They were asshats.

  13. @12

    C: Someone wanted to rob this man, posted the ad, and showed up at his house with their ad in hand (along with the horde of others).

  14. Attachment to material possessions is the source of all man’s unhappiness.

    The Buddha placed that ad on CL, he was trying to do that man a favor.

  15. desire is the source of all unhappiness

    In my casual survey of the masses, more people were driven by dvesha, revulsion, than by raga, attachment. So avoidance is a bigger source of unhappiness than desire.

  16. I seriously think there should be laws in place to combat this sort of thing.

    Basically a “stupidity” clause for walking into someone’s house and taking their things, based on an online advertisement alone.

    In this day and age, you can’t be too careful, and I don’t think it would be that much of a problem to sign a quick piece of paper that says “I give so and so permission to take anything permission from my house” and slap your signature on it.

    There, your butt is covered in a court of law.

    Frankly, I think he should take these people to court for theft.

  17. Revulsion towards something and desire for the lack of that thing are the same in my book. Heads and tails of the same coin.

    Chalk the Buddha up as enlightened.

    (chalk me up as not yet so)

    -abs

  18. @11:

    What on earth makes you think they wouldn’t have taken your gun? It’d have been first thing gone, bye. You’d be lucky if, had you caught the guy walking away with it, you had not been shot for trying to take “his” new shiny second amendment right.

  19. Anyone that took things without the owner’s permission can and should be charged with theft if not grand theft. Just because someone puts something in Craig’s list gives you no right to do what they did.

  20. @23

    What on earth makes me think they wouldn’t have taken my gun?

    How about the fact that it is not something I leave at home. If my gun is in my house then I am almost certainly in there as well.

  21. I’d like to see the exact wording of the ad. Does it say “If no one answers the door break a window, pick the lock or kick the door down to get at the lootz!”? Like Catbeller, I really want to know how the first few there got in.

    Also, did his evil niece state a date and time when she knew he wouldn’t be there, or did she think it would just be a hassling prank for him to answer the door 100 times?

  22. That sounds just about right for the people on craigslist.

    Greed, like faith, is a powerful force for causing people to overlook rationality.

  23. Well, obviously, their problem was that they didn’t bring enough trucks to carry the things away. Don’t they know you can’t just load up one truck and expect it to carry everything?

    This is ridiculous. If anyone here has ever had a garage sale (if you do, don’t forget your permit, der polizei can seize all goods if you don’t get one), you’ll know that people buying cheap items are like this too.

    Once had someone try to walk off with a small garden statue (well, not so small. the size and likeness of a four year old child.)

    Had to bodily restrain them (and yes, I’m still the seventeen year old female Tenn) and demand that they set it down. The person looked at me like I was crazy and told me that it had a ‘free’ sticker on it.

    My little brother ran up and informed me that he’d just put it on there himself. Which made sense, since we didn’t make ‘free’ stickers, and the ‘free’ sticker was a post-it note with free scratched quickly on it.

  24. I suspect that the person who posted the ad also managed to get a copy of the key, and showed up early to unlock the door. But that, of course, is pure speculation.

  25. Forget shooting people – in this world where you are more likely to be thrown in jail for protecting your property than the person actually stealing from you, a simple knife is all you need.

    Slash the tires on each vehicle on the property – it keeps the person and your stuff there till the police arrive – while giving you some sense of satisfaction for being robbed.

    How would you report this to your insurance? Or was that the scam to get better stuff…

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