just like the classifieds sherlock holmes read to learn all about human nature, we’ve seen craiglist reveal all sorts of human nature–people’s romantic tendencies, general willingness to exchange sex for a roof over one’s head, whatever.

but this i have not yet seen: someone cleverly leveraging the power of craigslist to cruel ends… vengeance, intertubes-style:

CRUEL CRAIGSLIST AD TRASHES TACOMA HOME ( not redundant, Tacoma does have some nice homes )

08:48 AM PDT on Thursday, April 5, 2007



Tacoma home trashed, homeowner devastated

TACOMA, Wash. – Someone with cruel intentions placed a fake ad on Craigslist, inviting people to take whatever they wanted for free from a Tacoma home.

Homeowner Laurie Raye says there’s little left now of the house. The outside of the home is trashed, the inside is nearly gutted and covered in graffiti. Raye says she is devastated.

“I was attached to this home because it used to be my mom’s,” says Raye.

The homeowner says from the light fixtures to the hot water heater, everything is gone – including the kitchen sink.

Raye recently evicted the tenant and cleaned out the rental, but she would soon be the one taken to the cleaners.

A phone caller alerted Raye to the destruction. She walked through her garbage strewn front yard to find her house dismantled.

“Including the front door,” said Raye. “This used to be a very nice vinyl window here.”

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 Craigslist last weekend.

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

An off-duty Tacoma police officer noticed the Craigslist ad last week, inviting 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 Craigslist,” said Detective Gretchen Ellis, Tacoma Police Department. “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.”

“This can happen to anybody, but look what happened to me,” said Raye.

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.

“The instigator who published this ad invited the public to come in and vandalize me,” said Raye.

When Raye contacted Craigslist, she received an email back saying they can’t release information about who posted the ad without a subpoena or search warrant.

KING 5 was unable to get anyone from Craigslist to personally respond to this story, but the web site has a long list of rules that clearly prohibit people from posting material that is illegal, harmful, threatening or harassing.