Area couple's Craiglist loss not first reported

A Rogue Valley couple who lost their possessions after an ad about their property appeared on Craigslist aren't the first to be targets of deception on the online advertising site.

Robert and Mary Salisbury lost ladders, tools and other possessions after two ads showed up Saturday afternoon on the site saying the owner of a home in the 7900 block of Sterling Creek Road outside Jacksonville was forced to leave the area suddenly and that his belongings, including a horse, were free for the taking, said Jackson County Sheriff's officials.

Robert Salisbury arrived at his property to find dozens of people rifling through his house and barn and driving off with his possessions.

A Tacoma, Wash., woman reported a similar incident to authorities there last year. Laurie Raye said she returned home to find everything, including, light fixtures, the hot water heater and front door, removed, she told newspapers in the area. She learned an ad had been posted on Craigslist saying come take what you want, everything is free.

Other scams connected with the site also have been discovered, according to media reports.

Last week, a woman on the island of Maui in Hawaii responded to a house rental ad on Craigslist, she told a newspaper. She discovered the Internet scam when the "landlord" asked her to wire $800 to him in Nigeria. A man in Seattle was beaten and robbed last week when he showed up with $2,500 to purchase a wide-screen TV that had been advertised on Craigslist, a King County television station reported.

Salisbury said he can't think of anyone in his life with an ax to grind. He said he thinks the crime was random. Only a few of the items have been returned to him. Anyone with information is asked to call sheriff's detectives at 774-6815.

— Meg Landers

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