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Man wanted in Henrico County for rental home scam

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Posted at 5:47 PM, Jan 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-22 07:38:30-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — Henrico County Police are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a man who has been preying on those looking to rent a home using Craigslist. The suspect in the incident responded to an ad for a rental property on Craigslist and signed a one-year lease, paying a deposit along with one month’s rent in advance.

A few days later, the suspect copied the original posting for the house and reposted it on Craigslist at a lower rent rate.  Potential renters responded to the advertisement and met with the suspect. The suspect would then require the victims to provide $20.00 for a “background” check.

Police say that the suspect called the potential renters back and advised them they had “passed” the background check and told that if they wanted the house, it was still available.

The four different potential renters met with the suspect, signed a “lease,” and provided the suspect with one month rent in cash. The suspect then provided a key to the house and advised the victims they could move-in on Jan. 10.

When the victims went to the rental home on Jan. 10, they found other renters attempting to do the same. None of the keys worked and the victims called the suspect only to find the phone turned off.

The suspect is described as a black male, late 30s to early 40s, 5’7,” 180 lbs., salt-n-pepper beard that is scruffy.

Renting Scam 2

The involved vehicle is described as a light colored Nissan Altima with a black leather interior. The vehicle possibly displayed 30 day West Virginia temporary tags.

Anyone with information regarding this crime is asked to contact Henrico Police at (804) 501-5000 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000. Another alternative is to text Crime Stoppers at 274637, using the key word “ITip.”