MEDFORD, Ore. — It wasn’t a hoax or revenge that cost a Southern Oregon man many of his belongings when people responded to a Craigslist posting and nearly emptied his rural home, officers say: It was a pair of thieves covering their tracks.Jackson County sheriff’s deputies arrested a Medford couple Monday and said the two stole horse saddles and other items from Robert Salisbury’s home.
Then, deputies said, the couple tried to cover up their theft by posting a notice on the Web site Craigslist that said Salisbury had to leave the state and his belongings were free for the taking.
On a Saturday, March 22, Salisbury came home to see people loading his goods into their vehicles.
When he protested, people whipped out copies of the Craigslist post, insisting that because the offer was on the Web, it had to be true and refused to return his stuff.
The sheriff’s office thought at first that the posting was a nasty prank.
But later, deputies say, they tracked computer files to Amber Herbert, 28, and Brandon Herbert, 29.
They said they determined that the couple had stolen goods from a garage at Salisbury’s place a few days before the Craigslist posting and sold the saddles over the Internet.
Other than taking a look at the property because it was listed as for rent, the pair had no connection to Salisbury, deputies said.
“Other Craigslist hoaxes we’ve seen were malicious, but this was not the revenge-type thing we were expecting,” said Sgt. Colin Fagan said. “But it was pretty sinister.”
The Herberts were booked on burglary, theft and computer crime charges.
Officers say that some of Salisbury’s belongings have been returned since the crime made headlines, but he is still out thousands of dollars in goods.