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House Destroyed After Bogus Craig's List Ad Says Everything Inside Is Free

1:14 PM, Apr 5, 2007   |    comments
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An ad placed on Craig's List is being blamed for the ransacking of a Tacoma, Washington woman's home. Vandals ripped apart the house after an ad posted on the internet bulletin board invited people to take anything they wanted from inside. Now police and the home's owner are trying to find out who posted the ad, and why. "It hurts. I was attached to this home because it used to be my mom's," says Laurie Raye. A phone caller alerted Raye to the destruction. She soon walked through her garbage-strewn front yard to find her house dismantled. From the light fixtures to the hot water heater, everything is gone, including the kitchen sink. Her neighbors later reported seeing strangers hauling stuff away from her home, seemingly looking for salvage material. The ad was posted on Craig's List last weekend. An off-duty Tacoma police officer noticed the Craig's List ad last week, which invited people to enter the unlocked house and take whatever they wanted. Later, that same officer noticed the ad was flagged and canceled after a reported burglary at the house. "We've had a lot of scams off of Craig's List. We've had prostitution things happen, rental scams, fraudulent activity. In this case, it appeared the items were going to be given away, but they were not," says Tacoma Police Investigator Gretchen Ellis. Raye believes the unknown person who posted the ad carries a personal grudge against her, but that person also conned unsuspecting people into taking part. When Raye contacted Craig's List she received an email back saying they can't release information about who posted the ad without a subpoena or search warrant. Raye uses the house as a rental property and recently evicted the tenants. So far they have not been named suspects.


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