Monday, May 4, 2009

I saw it on the Internet, it must be true!

A 'new' way to annoy and harass folks apparently.

Someone is liable to get hurt or shot.

Bogus web ad is invitation to steal
by Chris Hawes - WFAA-TV

MANSFIELD — Sherry Johnson Huwitt recently woke up to see what looked like robbers in her yard.

"These two guys were loading up my basketball goal," she said. "I went outside and started yelling, 'What are you doing with my things?' And they said, 'It was on craigslist.'"

The men showed Huwitt the ad from the popular Internet classifieds Web site which invited readers to collect outdoor sports equipment from her address. "Do not knock," the ad instructed. "It is placed out there for you to come and get."

Huwitt hadn't posted the invitation; she didn't know anything about it.

The ad appeared to have been posted around 4 a.m., so Huwitt thought the person who did it must work the night shift. She heard that a neighbor, Chad Hickey, had been asking about her things, so she confronted him.

Hickey initially denied having anything to do with the ad, but Huwitt kept pushing, e-mailing craigslist to learn the identity of the person who placed the notice.

An hour later, a name came back: Chad Hickey — her neighbor who is also an Arlington police officer.

"I just don't understand it," Huwitt said. "He brought strangers to my house. I could have gotten myself killed; I could have killed somebody."

In a letter to their homeowners' association, Hickey explained his action this way:

"Due to the items needing to be rmoved since they were not properly taken care of, I thought of a solution that was wrong to a valid issue. I regret my decision and wish I could take it back ... I feel horrible about what has transpired and have just been sick over it."

Arlington police don't know whether a crime was committed, but Hickey is still on the job until they figure it all out.