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Woman busted for Santa Cruz Craigslist rental scams, deputies say

Woman busted for Santa Cruz Craigslist rental scams, deputies say


PHIL GOMEZ JOINS US FROM SANTA CRUZ WITH MORE ON THE INVESTIGATION. REPORTER: THE HOUSING MARKET IN SANTA CRUZ COUNTY IS SO TIGHT THAT PROSPECTIVE RENTERS OFEN FALL PREY TO SCAMMERS WHO PO ONLINE LEARNER – LURES THROUGH FACEBOOK AND CRAIGSLIST HOPING TO MAKE A FAST BUCK BY , STEALING SOMEONE ELSES MONEY. SO FAR, THE SANTA CRUZ COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE HAS IDENTIFRIED THREE VICTIMS IN THIS CASE BUT THERE MAY BE MOR REPORTER: ADRIAN WEST WAS ON THE SANTA CRUZ COUNTY AND SL FACEBOOK RENTAL LISTINGS LOOKING , TO RENT A PLACE FOR HER MOTHER WHEN SHE WAS APPROACHED BY ANN HOWARD.>>IT SEEMS LEGITIMATE, SHE HAD KEYS, PICTURES OF HERSELF. REPORTER: BUT THE ROOM THAT ANN HOWARD WAS SHOWING FOR RENT WAS ACTUALLY THE ROOM SHE WAS LIVING IN AND HAD NO AUTHORITY TO SUBLET. WE SPOKE TO THE HOMEOWNER, HER LANDLORD HE HAD NO IDEA OF HER SCAM.>>THE LEASE WAS SIGNED BY A FEW OF THESE BOTH AND A SECURITY DEPOSIT AND FIRST MONTH OF RENT PROVIDED BY THE VICTIM. AND AT THE END O THAT, THE ROOM WAS NOT OFFERED FOR RENT AND MONEY WAS NOT RETURNED. REPORTER ON NEW YEAR’S EVE, HOWARD WAS ARRESTED BY THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE CHARGED WITH GRAND THEFT. SANTA CRUZ COUNTY ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY BILL ATKINSON , WHO IS IN CHARGE OF T CONSUMER AFFAIRS DIVISION, IS INVESTIGATING THE CASE.>>THEY ARE LOOKING TO PICK YOUR POCKETS. YOU NEED TO DO YOU HOMEWORK. YOU CANNOT TAKE ANYBODY AT FACE VALUE ANYMORE, ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE OFFERING SOMETHING TO GOOD BE TRUE. REPORTER: WEST, ALONG WITH 3 OTHER VICTIMS ARE SUING HOWARD AND THE LANDLORD TO RECOVER THEIR MONEY. I HOPE WE GET OUR MONEY AND I HOPE SHE GETS A LESSON IN ALL OF THIS SHE IS AWFUL. REPORTER: THE REAL LANDLORD OF THE HOME, RICHARD SCHMID , EVICTED HOWARD. WE TOOK A LOOK AT THE ROOM, TH ONE SHE USED TO CHEAT PEOPLE OUT OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS, NOW COMPLETELY EMPTY. SCHMIDT TOLD ME HE HAD NO IDEA THAT HOWARD WAS TAKING ADVANTA OF PEOPLE BUT HE’S ALSO NAMED IN , THOSE FOUR SMALL CLAIMS SUITS. HE TOLD HER SHE HAD TO LEAVE BUT A JUDGE GAVE HER AN DECEMBER 27, ADDITIONAL 10 DAYS TO MOVE. SHE MOVED OUT DECEMBER THIRTY — THE SAME DAY THE SHERIFF’S DECEMBER 3 OFFICE ARRESTED HER. AND STIFFED SCHMIDT FOR THE 4

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