(James Smith photo)

Delta police warn of fake Craigslist ads after one seeking ‘cuddle buddy’ used resident’s address

The woman’s home has been targeted three times in one month by fake online classifieds

Delta police are investigating a series of incidents in Sunshine Hills involving fake Craigslist postings.

So far there have been nine reported incidents of homes being the target of ads on the classifieds website inviting people to attend house parties or collect free items, and in some cases offering respondents intimate encounters.

One home in particular was targeted three times in July. On the first occasion, an ad titled “Looking for a Cuddle Buddy” was posted that asked for a male suitor to come to a home in North Delta. At least two men responded to the ad and texted with someone purporting to be a 27-year-old blond woman looking for a sexual encounter who directed them to a home in Sunshine Hills.

The daughter of the residents, who is four-and-a-half months pregnant and asked not to be named, was home alone at the time. One of the men walked into the home through the unsecured front door, as directed by the person who posted the ad, startling the young woman.

“I had left the door open because this is a safe neighbourhood and one of my good friends was coming over to bring me smoothie because I had been very ill,” the woman told the Reporter. “My dog started freaking out a the front door — he’s a very friendly animal, he doesn’t normally act aggressive or anything — and there was this strange man standing inside my house.

“He said, ‘I’m here to cuddle, I’m your cuddle buddy.’ … I looked at him and I point to myself and I said, ‘I’m four-and-a-half months pregnant. I don’t even let my partner touch me right now.’”

The woman convinced the man to leave and contacted Delta Police.

“He ended up being a very nice person, very apologetic. He email-forwarded me the thread of messages between him and the Craigslist ad person, and that’s how I was able to get a picture and the information with my address.”

Before they arrived a second man appeared at the house, demanding to be let in. He refused to leave, repeatedly trying to open the now-locked door. He was still there when police arrived. In total five men came to the door that day, with several others stopped by police while still in their cars.

“Two days following that there were still cars driving around the house, stopping and pointing, with men in them,” the woman said.

The second incident at the house happened a few weeks later, as the residents were hosting a family birthday party with about a dozen children in attendance. Once again, a fake posting appeared on Craiglist advertising an open party and featuring a photo of two attractive young women. As before, respondents were told to just walk right in.

One man walked into the party, beer in tow, and mingled with guests until the residents were alerted and asked the man to leave. As he did he flagged the ad on Craiglist and it was subsequently removed from the site. Delta Police were once again notified.

However, less than an hour later a new ad appeared offering a free Samsung smart phone at the same address, prompting more unwelcome visitors and a third callout by DPD officers.

“It’s a really safe neighbourhood so people do tend to leave their doors unlocked, and that is a huge thing … that in these ads the person, when talking back and forth with people who act interested, always says just walk on in,” the woman said.

Delta Police are investigating these and other incidents in the area in an effort to identify, locate and secure charges against the person or persons responsible for posting the fake ads.

“It is concerning, because someone is being directed to go to somebody’s residence and just walk in. Fortunately there haven’t been any mishaps, but it’s concerning none the less,” said DPD pubic affairs coordinator Sharlene Brooks.

“We’re treating this seriously, and do want to make the citizens aware that this is happening, so that they can take some appropriate steps to protect themselves, which can be as simple as keeping their doors locked even when they’re at home.”

Residents are encouraged to call the Delta Police to report any suspicious activity and/or people in their neighborhood.

 

Just Posted

Dear Santa: the Langley Advance presents local children’s letters to the jolly old elf

During the holidays, the Langley Advance will present letters to Santa. Here is the first selection.

Car fire destroys vehicle in Langley

Firefighters doused a car fire that sent a lot of smoke into the air in Langley.

VIDEO: Hankering for a piece of Star Wars?

A massive Star Wars memorabilia collection is going on the auction block in Langley.

South Surrey shots-fired accused due back in court Jan. 2

Cameron Barton arrested Sept. 25 in White Rock

Cloverdale’s Thunder Colts hockey team raises thousands for Burn Fund

Barbeque event brings in $3,400, donations accepted until Friday, Dec. 15

VIDEO: Recovering addict shares art and story to motivate others

A Langley City man spends time each day painting in McBurney Plaza.

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

UPDATED: Train collides with car in Maple Ridge

Mother and child both uninjured, track cleared at 11 a.m.

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

VIDEO: Pedestrian struck by vehicle caught on security camera

Incident points to danger on the roads not only in low light but also in bright sunshine

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

Most Read