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'Everything's Free' Garage Sale? Make Sure You Mean It (and That You Are Home)

The May 26, 2011 Craigslist ad was pretty straightforward:

We're giving it away, so come take it away!
Saturday, May 28th, 10am-2pm, No Early Birds, Please!
501 Evergreen Ave, Boulder

An earlier ad had scheduled the start time at 8 a.m., but the "No Early Birds" ad above was intended to correct that ... unsuccessfully, it turned out. Here is the ad that ran three days later:

Regarding the "Free Sale" on Saturday, May 28th at 501 Evergreen Ave:
Due to miscommunication and confusion over start time, many items were taken that were not meant to be free.
PLEASE return the following items as soon as possible if you have them:

Lawnmower and garden hose (these belong to the landlord)
Comforter set,
Mens clothes from upstairs,
ANYTHING from upstairs.

Please be honest and return these things,
Thank you.

The Boulder Daily Camera reports that a perfect storm consisting of the exaggerated claim that "EVERYTHING" was free, the change in the start time, an open back door and some "particularly bold" garage sale goers led to the unexpected losses described above. A police report states that when the woman who placed the ad returned to her home at approximately 8:45 a.m. on the day of the giveaway, people had alredy entered her home and helped themselves to the lawnmower, clothing and much more.

One early bird who came to the unoccupied home thought that things didn't feel right, and placed a call to one of the owners' mother. This person tried to keep people from taking things until the owners arrived, with limited success.

The roommate of the woman who placed the ad had many of her items taken, and says things are now "a little awkward" between her and her roommate. She has recovered some of her husband's clothes but is still hoping to get back her camping backpacks, an expensive toolbox full of high-quality tools and some of her furniture.

Posted by Bruce Carton on June 13, 2011 at 04:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (9)


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