Thursday, April 05, 2007

Craigslist ad leads to trashed home
Tacoma home ransacked after bogus classified offers ‘everything’ for free

Updated: 11:13 a.m. PT April 5, 2007

A too-good-go-be-true ad on Craigslist inviting people to take anything they wanted from a Tacoma, Wash., home apparently mobilized a posse of unwitting vandals who ransacked the rambler and made off with virtually everything — including the kitchen sink and the front door.

The devastated homeowner, Laurie Raye, told KING-5 TV of Seattle that she believes someone with a vendetta against her placed the bogus ad on the popular classifieds Web site last weekend.

“In the ad, it said ‘Come and take what you want. Everything is free,’” Raye said. “Please help yourself to anything on the property.”

Neighbors said strangers hauled appliances, light fixtures and even a window out of the home, a rental unit that was not occupied at the time.

By the time a caller notified Raye of what was happening, the home had been gutted and the walls covered with graffiti.

Raye said she contacted Craigslist in an effort to identify the person who placed the ad but was told that the company would not release that information without a subpoena or a search warrant.

Craigslist did not respond to a request for comment from KING-5.