Sonoma Housing Bubble

Pulling the cork out of Sonoma's bubbly housing foolishness

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Spiteful, Jealous, Bitter, Renter?

Behold... the Internet is Mightier than the Homeowner?

"An off-duty cop on March 30 was surfing Craigslist for spare auto parts. His duty beat included an area of east Tacoma, so he paid attention to a posting that advertised the entire contents of an address on a block he knew."

'"It was along the lines of, free house, take everything you want," said Tacoma Police Department spokeswoman Gretchen Ellis. "He thinks, 'That's strange,' and filed it away in the back of his head."'

"Back on duty a few days later, Ellis said that the same police officer heard a call go out — a burglary report at the exact address he'd seen on Craigslist while shopping for parts. He looked up the original ad and it was gone."
"He's pretty smart with the Internet," Ellis said, "so he Googled it, and found the first 35 characters, the header, on Google cache. This information was subsequently added to the police incident report."

"Laurie Raye, a landlord in Tacoma, Wash., now has firsthand experience at Web-engineered looting. She received the call a few days ago from a neighbor, telling her that a rental property she owned was being burglarized."

"By the time Raye arrived, her front lawn was littered with unwanted personal items. Inside the house, the water heater, light fixtures, newly fitted vinyl windows and the kitchen sink had been pried loose and carted away."

"Raye was left devastated, tearful and confused. She also filed an incident report with police, who provided some insight."

"Craigslist declined to comment on this case as a courtesy to law enforcement, but said that "any activity that violates our terms of use is NOT welcome on Craigslist at all."'

"No charges have been filed yet in what Ellis described as a "civil matter." Of course, it's unclear how "civil" the case really is — Raye had recently evicted her tenants."


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