A man who allegedly used Craigslist to solicit thousands of dollars in security deposits from prospective tenants for an Irish Channel apartment he didn’t own has been arrested on a number of theft charges, police said this week.
Brett Greene, 31, was a former tenant an apartment in the 3300 block of Annunciation Street, but after he stopped living there, posted an advertisement for it on Craigslist with several photos, said Sgt. Sabrina Richardson of the NOPD Sixth District property-crimes division. Without actually showing them the apartment, Greene convinced people in at least nine separate cases to send him security deposits, and detectives have identified $4,000 in checks to him so far, Richardson said.
The victims of the scam should have done a little more research, Richardson said, before sending checks to someone they didn’t know for an apartment they hadn’t been inside.
“As a consumer, you have to take some extra steps to make sure everything is on the up-and-up,” Richardson said.
Greene’s scam finally stumbled when one interested renter went by the apartment to take a look, and realized someone else was actually living there, and detectives subsequently arrested Greene by calling the number on the ad and setting up a meeting, Richardson said. Police then asked Craigslist to remove the scam ad, she said.
“We had to get it down, or else I’d have ended up with 30 more victims,” Richardson said.
Greene also ran a pet-sitting business, and had someone’s dog with him when he was arrested, Richardson said.