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Trust is in even shorter supply than water these days.
This is something worth bearing in mind when you're buying something on, say, Craigslist. It's also worth bearing in mind when you leave your house empty for a while.
A story emerging from Washington State describes a homeowner who returned to his house -- one that he hoped to sell -- and discovered that some of his electrical appliances and tools had departed.
As reported via USA Today and King TV, Ed Saurs had a meeting with a realtor at his home in Puyallap, Washington, and encountered a stranger who declared: "I'm here for the microwave."
Feeling fairly sure that his microwave hadn't invited this man, Saurs began to wonder what was going on. Next he says he heard another person escaping through the sliding doors.
As he began to deduce what might have happened, he looked around and found appliances and tools missing -- a total value of around $5,000.
The Pierce County Sheriff's Office wasn't immediately available for comment. However, King 5 reports that Saurs' items had been for sale on the Craigslist and OfferUp classified-advertising sites.
On its site, Craigslist suggests that people should "deal locally, face-to-face." But how can a buyer know for sure that the items are in fact the seller's to sell?
Craiglist didn't immediately respond to my request for comment. However, if you're a buyer, it might be worth checking whether the seller really does own the item he or she is selling. Asking for ID can't hurt.
As for Saurs, who had already moved with his family to a new house, he couldn't believe what had happened. He told King 5: "There's holes where my refrigerator used to be." His washer and dryer are also gone.
A neighbor's surveillance camera caught some pictures of the alleged scammer, who has not yet been caught. Saurs surmises that this person must have been squatting in the house for some time.
The Saurs family had lived in that house for 25 years. It's not the end they were hoping for.