YSaC, Vol. 419: Sometimes sucking at Craiglist is a punishable offense.

2009 September 9
by drmk

A recent news story involves a rather creative, but suck-tacular, use of Craigslist:

Man arrested for selling stolen furnace after posting phone number online

John Allen Chudley, 38, of Knoxville, is charged with charged with aggravated burglary, theft and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police said Chudley broke into a vacant North Knoxville house at 1416 Kenyon Street and took pictures of the furnace.

Then he listed it for sale on Craigslist and posted a picture and his cell phone number.

The homeowner found out, called Chudley saying he’d like to buy the furnace, then called 911.

Chudley met officers, thinking one was the buyer, and sold them the furnace. He even helped load it into their truck.

Police said Chudley also had outstanding warrants for aggravated burglary and theft. Plus, he agreed to talk to them about other thefts and burglaries.

Chudley was taken to the Knox County Jail.

Even better, Dan sent me this shining example of Craiglist incompetence and intrigue, which actually happened to him!


I recently had my car stolen with all of my home inspection tools inside. I started checking CL to see if any of the tools showed and, sure enough, my $8000 thermal imaging camera was for sale 3 days after the theft for $200.

More after the jump …

Dan provided me with a link to the ad the thief posted, advertising the camera for $200. Don’t bother reading the specs — they’re copied straight from the manufacturer’s site, as is the picture. Skip to the bottom of the ad, where the thief claims (in all caps, naturally) that he doesn’t have the power cord because of a recent fire. Nice touch, isn’t it?

FLIR i60 Thermal Imaging InfraRed Camera with Laser and scalable PIP

FLIR i60 Features:
* Latest Infrared Detector Technology
* Fusion Picture in Picture (PIP)
* Bright LED Lamps for Quality Visible Images
* Thermal Sensitivity of <0.1degree C at 25 degree C
* Lightweight
* Easy One-Handed Operation
* 3.5″ LCD with Razor Sharp Resolution
* Convenient Thumbnail Image Gallery
* 2.3MP Visible Light Camera resolution
* PIP with 3 fixed steps
* 32,400 pixels (180×180)
* Buillt-in Laser LocatIR pointer
* Laser Marker Function
* Auto Hot/Cold spot marker function shows a spot within the area that automatically finds the hottest or coldest spot within the box
Visible Light Digital Camera – 0.6MP resolution with LED lamps provides sharp images regardless of lighting conditions
Fusion Picture in Picture – Displays thermal image super-imposed over a digital image
0.1 degree C Thermal Sensitivity – Provides the resolution needed to find problems faster and easier
Wide Temperature Range – Measures from -4 to 662 degree F (-20 to 3850 degree C) targeting electrical and industrial applications
Thumbnail Image Gallery – Allows quick search of stored images
Radiometeric JPEG images – Patented technology used to save images in standard JPEG format for easy e-mailing and analysis using QuickReport PC Software included
1GB microSD card – Stores more than 1000 Radiometric JPEG images
Li-Ion Rechargeable Battery – Replaceable battery lasts for 5 hours of continuous use
Area (Min/Max) Mode – Spot marker shows the Minimum or the Maximum Temperature reading within the selected area

Dan continues the story:

I arranged to meet the seller at a nearby restaurant; called a police officer friend who fortunately was working that day; and bought my thermal camera back an hour or so after viewing the thief’s CL ad.

He was taken into custody and interrogated. He divulged the location of my Honda Element and we recovered it shortly afterward. Almost all of my tools were still there.

Germaine truly sucked at Craigslist and it was a good thing for me.

Sometimes, the good guys do win.

Thanks to Raundi for the news story listing, and thanks to Dan C. for sending in his Craigslist suck = success story!

37 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 September 9
    that frood permalink

    Holy crap! 200 bucks for a thermal camera?!
    This is funny to me because the same thing happened essentially when I went to high school. People’s cellphones kept going missing and then wind up on an anonymous ebay account.
    Naturally, the police looked into the account, found the kid, and he was arrested.

    Adores: 4
    • 2009 September 10
      Addicted Reader permalink

      At my high school, someone stole some of the school computers and put them on eBay, along w/ more he hadn’t stolen yet.

      Adores: 5
  2. 2009 September 9
    queensbee permalink

    well, chudley and this other guy are unbelievably stupid bozos who deserve jail time. why dont we have jails for teh stupids?? my head hurts a lot from having to bang it into the walls….

    Adores: 2
  3. 2009 September 9

    That’s hilarious, when people are so stupid they basically turn themselves in. Dumbasses. Glad the victims got their stuff back!

    Adores: 1
  4. 2009 September 9

    Chudley probably thought he was being so clever, planning ahead by finding a buyer before stealing the furnace.

    So long as criminals keep forgetting that “public” includes the police, they will be easy to catch. Facebook, Youtube and Craigslist, Crimefighters!

    Adores: 6
  5. 2009 September 9
    Artie Smartypants permalink

    No one has ever accused the majority of common thieves of being smart.

    Adores: 4
    • 2011 July 28
      Dete permalink

      The smart ones are easy to find: they haven’t been caught.

      Adores: 0
  6. 2009 September 9
    ??? permalink

    I like how the thief “can help you locate” another charger cord- Simply follow these steps:

    First, locate a vehicle that contains expensive equiptment.

    Two, conveniently appropriate the contents of the vehicle for your own use.

    C, post any items you don’t need on Craigslist. Win!

    Adores: 21
  7. 2009 September 9
    Lola permalink

    It’s good to hear that the people got their things back. Someone else’s sucking (aka failing utterly) at CL was a win for the victims in the end.

    Adores: 2
    • 2009 September 9
      My Evil Twin permalink

      On a slightly tecnical note, getting your things back is more like a “not lose” (0) than a “win” (1) to my mind (even though thinking you’ve lost something and discovering that you haven’t certainly feels like a win).

      The dregs going to jail (-1, for them) and the rest of society getting a reprieve from them (however brief) would seem to me to be more of the “win.” No?

      Adores: 2
      • 2009 September 13
        Lola permalink

        Point taken. As one who’s had things taken in two different break-ins, with none of it returned, I’d kind of feel it was more of a win, given my experience; that’s just me, tho. There is the suck factor of having it taken in the first place, no argument there.

        Adores: 0
  8. 2009 September 9
    Count Blah permalink

    On the opposite end of Craigslist weirdness, my friend lost her iPhone and put an up an ad asking someone to please return it if they found it. She figured this was a lost cause, but what the hell.

    Lo and behold, someone actually responded claiming that he had it…and would happily meet up and return it for her if she would let him rub her feet. My intrepid friend said she might actually be willing to do this, if the guy proved he was legit by sending a photo of her phone that clearly displayed the unusual background pic she’d put on it. Shockingly, he never wrote back.

    Adores: 24
    • 2009 September 9
      MsDolfinn permalink

      Wait a minute…there is a guy offering free foot massages??? Where do I sign up or “lose” my iPhone???

      Adores: 13
      • 2009 September 9

        There were ads in my area about 3-4 months ago looking for young, fit attractive ladies who would let the poster photograph and smell their feet…does that count? He changed the ad several times from the original, to an “athletic foot models” ad, to a “clinical trial” ad, but the requirements were always the same.
        Too bad I didn’t know about this site back then. The creep factor was off the chart.

        Adores: 4
        • 2009 September 9
          drmk permalink

          I see those ALL the time.

          Adores: 2
        • 2009 September 9

          The fact that you see them all the time makes me weep for humanity (and throw up in my mouth a little.)

          Adores: 5
      • 2009 September 9
        Count Blah permalink

        Trust me, if you want free foot massages you can find them anytime you want. Hell, you could find a guy who would come over and clean your house. You just have to be aware that for the guys, these things are sexual fetishes.

        I’m not judging the fetishists at all–as a giant perv myself, I congratulate my male counterparts for getting out there and pursuing what they want. I’m just pointing out that a long, lingering footrub might not appeal to you as much if the guy is staring at your toes and pitching an obvious trouser tent.

        Adores: 5
        • 2009 September 10
          Alex permalink

          I wish I could find one of those house-cleaning fetishists. If he brings his own cleaning supplies, I’ll let him clean my house nekkid if that’s his thing. And if he’s willing to rent a Rug Doctor, and pay for it, I’ll even watch.

          Adores: 6
        • 2009 September 10
          MsDolfinn permalink

          Even better…someone with a house cleaning AND foot fetish. They could clean my house then give me a foot massage afterward!

          Adores: 1
    • 2009 September 9


      Adores: 4
  9. 2009 September 9
    Celeste permalink

    This is really fourth grade of me, but I find the first post so funny solely because the guy’s name is Chudley.

    Adores: 29
    • 2009 September 9
      sarajean80 permalink

      I’m picturing some wiry guy in a stained t-shirt and coveralls, with dark, greasy hair topped by a gimmie cap and missing a tooth or four.

      Horrible stereotyping by me, I know, but as a native of the South, I can tell you that particular stereotype exists for a reason.

      Adores: 3
  10. 2009 September 9
    mudslicker permalink

    Let’s hear one for Natural Selection.

    Adores: 3
  11. 2009 September 9
    sarajean80 permalink

    All of these folks sound like they’ve been slapped with a stupid stick.

    I guess the first fella was just (barely) smart enough to try to find someone to buy something as cumbersome as a furnace before going through the trouble to steal it. I wonder if he took pictures and listed any more “light” items, like the refrigerator or the bathtub.

    Adores: 1
  12. 2009 September 9
    Lady Carlotta permalink

    I also like how the thief was able to locate the manufacturer’s specs, yet not discover the fact that the camera was worth way more than $200.

    Adores: 16
    • 2009 September 9
      sarajean80 permalink

      I wonder; since he will not take checks, money orders,(both easily forged) or paypal, would he accept this credit card I “found”?

      Adores: 13
  13. 2009 September 9
    Windrose permalink

    Oh, Chudley! Chudley Chudley Chudley! LOL Wasn’t that the name of Tennessee Tuxedo’s side-kick walrus? Oh, wait, that was Chumley. Chumley, Chumley, Chumley. 8) I have to go lie down now.

    Adores: 2
  14. 2009 September 9
    kristen55 permalink

    I assume you’ve all heard this CL story from March 2008, in southern Oregon.


    The woman wanted to cover up a theft so she posted to CL for everyone to ‘come and get it’ for free at her victim’s house and they did. Poor guy got cleaned out. So actually, I guess she didn’t suck at CL, but she certainly sucked.

    Adores: 2
    • 2009 September 14
      DooeyD permalink

      I can’t believe there’s enough Craigslist crime in Oregon to warrant an entire section on the news’ website.

      Okay, I can believe it, I just don’t want to…

      Adores: 0
  15. 2009 September 10
    Rhiannon permalink

    So all I need to do if an angry ex steal my things is to look on Craigslist… sadly, some of the people I know are that stupid!

    Adores: 0
  16. 2009 September 10
    bbg permalink

    Congratulations Dan! What a wonderful story (and total win of an ending).

    Adores: 0
  17. 2009 September 10

    I should check the local Craigslist for my cell phone. Dumb bastard thief didn’t even think to take the charger.

    Adores: 0
    • 2009 September 11

      Oh, he didn’t need it. Turns out the charger was “damaged” in a “fire.”

      Adores: 1
  18. 2009 September 11
    pixie721 permalink

    The moral of the second story: Only those who have befriended cops will find justice.

    The rest of us can piss off because no one will help us and Germaine will steal our stuff and then sell it to someone via Craigslist.

    Adores: 4
    • 2009 September 14
      DooeyD permalink

      Maybe we should all start looking for cops to befriend. Where to start? Oh, how about an ad on Craigslist? That seems to be a good place to find “novelty” friends.

      Adores: 5
  19. 2009 September 13
    Charley permalink

    This happened to me too (sort of). I say sort of because it was before ebay and CL. I moved to the city and ended up rooming with a girl that was from my hometown. She ended up moving out when I wasn’t home and took a lot of my stuff with her. She went back to our hometown and tried to sell my stuff there including a necklace that she tried to sell to my foster sister (my foster sister was the one who gave it to me in the first place). She was gone again before I found out so I didn’t get any of my stuff back.

    Adores: 0
  20. 2009 November 7
    Z3R0OneOneSe7en permalink

    we had a welder stolen from school…it appeared on craigslist by the next day i went to show it to the teacher(it was HIS personal welder) it was no longer on there, and now the student never shows up anymore.

    Adores: 0

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