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By Hank Miller BrokerAppraiser | Broker in Alpharetta, GA

Foreclosed Family Watches Helplessly as Craigslist Crowds Strip House Bare


So is posting a Craig’s List ad that says “take what you want” a good idea? Well a Woodstock, GA homeowner learned that people will do just that as they literally broke into it adand ransacked, ravaged, and took everything they could. Never a good idea to break into a house, but the ad can be construed to mean “take what you want” -

“Fairly large, free yard sale. Moving and we want everything to go for free. So come over and take whatever you want and how much you want. Here are a couple of items that will be there: Couch, chairs, lots of household and kitchen items, appliances, a wardrobe, desk, recliner, movies, lots of books, lamps, women’s and teens’ clothing, etc. And also a box of free food with lots of cans. Please take only if you need it. We’re starting at 10 a.m., October 24th, and we’ll finish when everything’s gone.”

Other than physically breaking in, it appears that ad is certainly open to interpretation….

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 responding 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 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 family keepsakes, all their clothes and shoes — everything but a few books left scattered across the carpet. Vercher’s fiancee, Dana Lamanac, said they took her guitars, which were gifts from her father.

They were losing the home to foreclosure after living there for 20 years…

Vercher said by the time the family saw what was happening and called police, it was too late. He said an officer told them that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to figure out who initially broke into the house Wednesday morning, and that everyone else who arrived after that could claim, from the way the ad is worded, that the family meant for people to take the interior’s contents, as well. “It’s just a nightmare,” he said, shaking his head. About all he has, now, is a request — just one request of those who were inside: “Lived in this house [with his mother, who owned it] for 20 years, my whole life,” he said. “It’s our family home. We have to get out because of the foreclosure. We don’t have much and now we have even less. You’d like to think there’s good people. I mean, I hope they would have a good enough heart to bring our stuff back. We don’t hold any grudges against them, we just want our stuff back. I mean, some of that stuff is irreplaceable.”

The story and video is here

Hank Miller
Associate Broker & Certified Appraiser
Atlanta Communities Real Estate
678-428-8276 direct

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