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A Craigslist Experience

Updated on October 18, 2009

My grampa's experience with the homeless real estate tycoon

Many of us have heard about the scary stories when it comes to responding to Craigslist ads. Stories of predators, sexual and otherwise who use craigslist as a means of meeting their victims have become common.

However, I have more of a silly story.

In June of this year, my grandfather was looking for a rental on Craigslist and came across an ad that read:

MOVE IN TODAY! Totally furnished

2 bedroom 1 bath $1000/MONTH

no deposit required, all utilities paid for 1st month.

There was no phone number so he immediately emailed the anonymous posting and he received an email back within minutes with an address and an appointment to "meet". They met at the house 2 hours later and the man had a photo copy of a simple rental agreement.

In my grandfather's own words from a letter he wrote me says:

"It should have been odd that he stunk of liquour, had no car (but in my defense there were many cars parked on the street, obviously belonging to the neighbors) that his clothes were a bit loose and his hair unkempt. I could tell this man hadn't shaved in days either so I thought, ok, i'm dealing with an alcoholic 60's flower child reject, with black, scuffed boots and a nervous personality.

So we talked for a while. He told me about 3 times that he had never done any sort of 'business transanctions', but that he could trust me.

How can you tell? I asked with my hand on my chin,"

oh, I just met lot's of people in my life and believe me, I can tell", then he laughed a very gargling laugh as if there were 10 gallons of phlegm in his chest. "Ah, we'll take care of everything else later, give me your number and uh, if you have the first months rent you can move in right now, then I'll call you to work out everything else, what about that?"

I wasn't sure but as we continued to talk he started to tell me he had to go live in phoenix cause his 14 year old daughter in Phoenix had gotten in serious trouble with the law and that he would be staying with his ex wife to reconcile.

Again, I should have dwelled on the fact that any woman who would want this man should get their head examined.

I just didn't think.  I guess I was just thinking about area. I was walking distance to my bank, the Sam's Club, and my favorite movie theatre. If I could do it over I would. Even the neighbor looked at us weird as we went out the front door. She was sweeping her porch and stopped to look at us. I shook his hand. I jumped in my Ford and went to grab my belongings from uncle davids house."

I laughed when I saw my granfather's name next to an inmate number on a short envelope. He was let out before I got the letter and the family knew what had happened, so it was ok.

The story continues with a homeless man walking away with a $1000 money order and my grandfather living in a house that belonged to a couple who spoke so loud that the homeless man in the alley way next to the home would know that they were boarding a United airline flight to  Acapulco, Mexico for a two month vacation. Also, while certainly getting drunk in that alley way he found out where they would be 'hiding' the key for the house sitter who would begin to stay there 2 days later. Another excerpt from my grampa's letter said:

"He must of gone through that couple's home before I got there and took down all the pictures they had on display and taken the food for himself. He left their toothbrushes and all the linen which seemed weird but again, I gave it no thought. And as for the clothes, I actually tried the number he gave me when I looked in the closet to let him know that he left all his winter clothes and got a busy signal."

Well, as you can probably guess, it all got squared away when the house sitter got there with the cops 2 days later after being tipped off by the neighbor sweeping the porch the day he moved in. My grandfather actually served time for a bench warrant he never got resolved.

As for the homeless man, they picked him up about a week later broke and completely drunk. And as for my grampa, he moved back in with uncle David with $1000 less in his savings account and took care of his bench warrant.


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    • profile image

      Air Jordan Fusion 

      8 years ago

      we'd better off never having to learn, and it's very sad that we have to learn them.

    • profile image

      Air Jordan Fusion 

      8 years ago

      we'd better off never having to learn, and it's very sad that we have to learn them.

    • strutzas profile image


      8 years ago from Kualapuu, Hawaii

      Yes there are many scams on CL, but this one was very unique. Thanks for sharing!

    • grannylikeseve profile image


      8 years ago

      good one

    • sugdorZ profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from California's Central Valley

      Very true. Some life lessons are only part of the lesson plan out of pure consequence, rather than needful for life itself.

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 

      8 years ago

      Craigs List.......... it's a scary venue. Nicely written, and I feel for your grandfather. I guess none of us is ever too old to learn the "life lessons" we'd better off never having to learn, and it's very sad that we have to learn them.


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