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When Craigslist goes wrong
Police accused a married couple of inviting Craigslist users to loot the house of an Oregon man, said Salon's Machinist blog, which proves that criminals should abandon schemes that involve leaving tracks on the Internet. Once again, Craigslist gets badmo
W
hat happened
Police have arrested a married couple—Amber and Brandon Herbert—and charged them with inviting users of the online ad forum Craigslist to take the belongings of an Oregon man, Robert Salisbury, out of his house. The Herberts were allegedly trying to get people to ransack the house to cover their own tracks after stealing two horse saddles from the home and selling them online. Jackson County, Ore., sheriff’s deputies said investigators found remnants of the Craigslist ad, which claimed that the man was leaving the state suddenly and needed to get rid of everything in his house, on the couple’s computer. (The (Arizona) National Ledger)

What the commentators said
“The criminal masterminds' brilliant plan had only one hitch,” said Salon’s Machinist blog. “It involved posting something on the Internet. And the Internet is not anonymous. Craigslist and police easily tracked down the Herberts through their ad, and now they're in for a lot more than stealing some saddles.”

Let this be a lesson to lawmakers out there trying to pin everything from “pimping prosititutes to failing to police poor grammar” on Craigslist, said Helen A.S. Popkin on MSNBC.com. As usual, “Craigslist totally didn’t do it!” So, instead of screaming that “the free online advertising site is the root of all humanity’s ills,” let’s blame the real crooks, and the “30-odd losers” who stupidly showed up to loot Salisbury’s house.

“You have to feel for poor Robert Salisbury,” said Christopher Nickson in Digital Trends. Imagine what it’s like to come home from work and find a bunch of strangers casually walking off with your stuff. It’s comforting to know that investigators, with the help of Craigslist’s staff, were able to nab the suspects so quickly. “Unfortunately, very little of the property taken from Salisbury has yet been returned, in spite of police threats.”

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