US home looted after Craigslist hoax

Looters cleaned out an American man's home after people responded to a hoax ad on a classifieds website. Robert Salisbury was the victim of two false Craigslist postings that claimed he has been forced to leave the area suddenly and his belongings, including a horse, were free for the taking.

Salisbury discovered the hoax while out at work. He received a call from a woman outside his house in Jacksonville, South Oregon, who wanted to collect his horse.

On his way home he tried to stop a truck loaded with his work ladders, lawn mower and weed eater.  "I informed them I was the owner, but they refused to give the stuff back," Salisbury said.

 "They showed me the Craigslist printout and told me they had the right to do what they did."

On his journey back Salisbury spotted several other cars filled with his belongings.

Once home he was greeted by close to 30 people rummaging through his barn and front porch.  "They honestly thought that because it appeared on the Internet it was true," Salisbury said.  "It boggles the mind."

Jacksonville police and Jackson County sheriff's deputies arrived but by then several cars packed had fled.
Authorities weren't able to say how much or what had been returned, but by late Monday afternoon, items were  "starting to pile up" in Mr Salisbury's driveway.

Michelle Easley had seen the ad that claimed Salisbury's horse had been declared abandoned by the sheriff's department and was free to a good home.

 "I can't stand to see a horse suffer so I drove out there and got her," Easley said.  "The horse didn't look abandoned. She is in good shape for being 32 -years -old."

But it looked odd, so she left a note on Salisbury's door explaining the ad. She then decided to call to make sure the ad was legitimate when the second similar ad appeared.

 "I feel bad because I was a part of it," Easley said.  "It felt right to call the police."

Officers were still contacting people who were seen leaving Salisbury's house with his property. If they return the taken items, no charges will be filed. But people who don't return what they took may face charges.