An innocent notice of a free yard sale on Craigslist has led to chaos for one Woodstock family.
Michael Vercher told 11 Alive that he placed an advertising on the popular, yet controversial, website announcing:
"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."
However, things didn't go as planned as Vercher told the news station people started showing up way before he was able to supervise the sale. Vercher said he and his family had lost their home of 20 years to foreclosure and have to be out of the place by Nov. 6.
Along with family keepsakes, clothes, shoes, a flat-screen computer monitor, two acoustic guitar and an electric guitar were taken.
"Everyone was inside the house; they were taking out items," he told the news station. "There were cars around the block. It was like ants in and out of the house."
According to an Oct. 24 incident report filed with the Cherokee Sheriff's Office, deputies were called to the home at 204 Sunnybrook Court during the free-for-all yard sale.
The caller told Cherokee County dispatchers two women had taken her antique sewing machine and refused to give it back. The sewing machine was not part of the items that were being given away, according to the report.
The deputy reported the two women returned the sewing machine, but were allowed to keep the remaining items from the sale. The caller, identified as Pamela Hobbs, told the deputy that Vercher, who is her son, did place the ad on Craigslist. She noted no one had arrived at the home by 10 a.m. to watch over the sale until her Realtor called and "told her she better get over there quickly."
The deputy also wrote several people on the scene at the time showed him the Craigslist ad, confirming the reference that everything in the house needed to go.
"I then asked Ms. Hobbs why she would have an event like this at her home and no one was here to supervise it," the deputy wrote. "She said her son was the one who set it up and placed the ad. I asked her how the people got into her home. She said the front door was unlocked."
While speaking with Hobbs, Vercher arrived on the scene. Vercher told the deputy no one was supposed to go inside the house.
"I sympathized with him how I understood that, but explained to him that when placing an ad in Craigslist for 'free' stuff to be given away, someone should at least be at the residence when the people start showing up," he wrote. "I explained to him that there were several cars coming and going from this address, when I arrived, and who knows how many came and went before I got there."
Cherokee Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Lt. Jay Baker said the department won't be investigating the case "considering the circumstances" at this time.
"Additionally, the victims have no serial numbers of any of the items taken from the home therefore we are unable to even place the items on GCIC (Georgia Crime Information Center)," he said.
Baker did add the sheriff's office detectives will follow up "if any new information is discovered or if anyone has additional information about the property taken from inside the home or persons who entered the home."