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Suspect named in Tacoma house-trashing incident

Tacoma police file charges against the niece of the homeowner whose house was pillaged after an ad was posted on Craigslist.

Craigslist seattle CNET

We all remember the story of the giveaway house in Tacoma. Somebody posted an ad on the Seattle area Craigslist inviting folks to take away whatever they could find inside an otherwise unremarkable home. The response was eager and effective. Woodwork and fixtures vanished out the door. What was left was trashed. The incident aroused much online interest.

There was some police interest as well. Tacoma police told CNET there would be criminal charges filed. And now the accused hoaxer, the person who invited the world to trash, has been charged.

Police have accused Nichole M. Blackwell, 28, of placing the ad in Craigslist. The specific charges are second-degree burglary, first-degree malicious mischief and first-degree criminal impersonation. Blackwell is due in court May 25.

At the time of the crime, the woman who owned the house said her sister was not smart enough to think up this affair. The sister of the owner had stopped living in the house just before the trashing invitation. Blackwell is the homeowner's niece. All in the family.