Saturday, November 10, 2012

Early-Arriving Craigslist Crowd Breaks Into & Ransacks Temporarily-Unattended Home In Response To Foreclosed Couple's 'Free Yard Sale' Ad

In Woodstock, Georgia, WXIA-TV Channel 11 reports:

  • A family in Woodstock, who just lost their home of 20 years to foreclosure and are preparing to move out, lost even more [...]. And it was all because they inadvertently triggered what they now call "mayhem" when they posted a craigslist ad [...].

    Their online post was just a well-meaning ad for a giveaway of furniture and other household items in their driveway outside the small house, a giveaway scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

    But big crowds showed up early, while the family was out, breaking into the house and taking practically everything inside, in part because the way that the craigslist ad was written gave them the idea that everything on the property was up for grabs.

    Wednesday night, Michael Vercher walked 11Alive's Jon Shirek through his family's almost empty soon-to-be former home.

    "Well, when we got to the house, I mean, pretty much -- this," he said as he stepped from the foyer into the living room. Their home -- ransacked, ravaged, raked over. Almost everything inside -- gone. "They came in and just tore the place up," he said.

    People who responded to the family's craigslist ad showed up at the house earlier than 10 a.m., before Vercher arrived there from work to supervise the giveaway. And when he drove up to the house, he said, they had already broken into it, helping themselves to almost everything inside.

    And as the family was calling 911, he could not stop them. "Everyone was inside the house; they were taking out items," he said. "There were cars around the block. It was like ants in and out of the house."

    He spoke of how they took, from inside the house, the only items that the family wanted to take with them as they moved out -- family keepsakes, and all their clothes -- everything but a few of their books, which were left scattered across the carpet.

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