MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo (KMOV.com) – A West St. Louis County police sting uncovered a major theft ring after some stolen goods ended up on Craigslist.
Maryland Heights police say the undercover bust netted a custodian caught stealing from an office where he worked.
News 4 has reported about bad guys lurking behind internet postings, some, out to rob you or scam you. But in this case, police turned the tables on a suspected thief by simply responding to his Craigslist ad.
“That’s kind of one of the first places we look, because where is the average person going to get rid of this stuff?” Maryland Heights Police Detective Sean Fanning said.
That’s especially true when you’re talking $75,000 worth of office furniture. When chairs, lights, file cabinets and projector screens went missing during a move from GMAC headquarters, Maryland Heights police went looking for it on Craigslist.
“It is a criminal’s paradise,” Det. Fanning said. “The criminals have found out that it’s a great way to steal and then advertise their stolen goods to a vast variety of people.”
Detective Fanning and his partner posed as buyers, tracking the online posting for office furniture to Joseph Resimius at his St. Charles home. What they found was a treasure trove of stolen stuff just waiting to be resold. The head custodian had access to GMAC’s office and dozens others, leaving Fanning to believe Resimius has probably done this before. In fact, he says Resimius even took orders for certain goods.
“So once they come up to the house and say ‘hey, you know I’m kind of looking for some end tables and an executive table,’ it would be like ‘well let’s see what we can find out for you,’” Det. Fanning said.
Craigslist has become an online pawn shop, a place police say they are checking more and more often to find thieves dumping their loot, meaning the next time a thief tries to sell stolen stuff online, an undercover detective might just show up as the buyer instead.