I closed on the house yesterday. I headed over after the closing to clean. The previous owner a lot of furniture, clothes, shoes, baby items, a stereo and other junk behind. Knowing this, last week I posted a "free stuff" add on Craig's List with a list of what was there. I received over 100 responses. I sent the address to the first 20 with the hours I would be at the house, and told them to come by and take what they wanted.
When I got there, several of the nicest pieces of furniture had already been removed from the house and were in the back of a truck parked in front of the house. There was another truck parked in my driveway. I suspected that the previous owner heard the house was closing and came to get her stuff. But why was the truck still in front of the house, and why were all the other items still in the house? And who's truck was in my driveway?
Anyway, people started showing up to take the other items. At one point, one of these people told me that a neighbor was calling the police. Cringing inside I ran out to find him. Hell of a way to meet a new neighbor. I explained the situation. He let me know that one of the Craig's List people had been extremely rude to him and told him "The stuff is here and we're taking it!" rather than say "The owner posted a free stuff ad on Craig's List." Under those circumstances, I probably would have called the police too. The cops showed up. We explained the misunderstanding and they left. The neighbor then told me that a) his wife died the day before and that they were holding a memorial service, b) that both of the trucks belonged to his sons, and c) that the previous owner was a good friend of his and he let his son park the truck in the driveway so people would think someone was home.
I offered my condolences and we apologized to each other for the inconvenience and misunderstanding. But, I can't help but think about the fact that his son's truck was full of the old owner's furniture. Either he has the key. or the previous owner does, and let him in and gave him permission to take what he wanted. There were a few other times when I came to the house with my realtor to find items rearranged or the stereo on. Had the neighbor been in the house then too? The surround sound speakers that had been in the bathroom and on the porch were missing from the last time I was there a week or so ago. Did he take them with permission from the previous owner? I'm not accusing. I just can't help but wonder. I feel terrible that the man lost his wife and appreciate that he was looking out for his friend and the neighborhood by calling the cops. But I want those surround sound speakers, dang it! They should have come with the house. It's bad enough that I had to replace what was taken during the break-in but now someone with a key is looting?
Long story short. The locks are being changed today.