I have been trying to rent out a bedroom/bathroom in my house for the last couple of months. My first ad on Craigs List had expired so on June 22, 2011 I posted it again
I’d barely got done posting it before there was a response from someone ‘wanting more information about the room.’ I was immediately suspicious because the ad was extremely detailed to start with (check it out at the link above and you will see what I mean).
I was also suspicious because the phone number given in the email I received tracked to McKinleyville/Eureka (California) while the room is in Bend Oregon (the two cities are about 250 miles apart from each other). I googled the phone number and came up with a listing at Number Investigator (http://www.numberinvestigator.com/707476) that made me even more suspicious.
Apparently the person using this phone number is (quoted from the site)
Sex offender looking for unsuspecting women to move in with usually contacts them on line then calls. Is on the National registery for sex offenders
Well I thought only one report of this could be somebody out to make trouble for this man (a bit too trusting of my fellow citizens is what I am) so I called this person. That was my first mistake.
We played telephone tag for a few hours and Friday June 24 he came over to look at the room. He insisted on coming over while I was still at work (online job which I just started).
My first clue that this was not going to go all that well is that he smoked. I specifically asked that potential roommates be non-smokers. In addition, there’s a sign on my door that says “Caution No Smoking Oxygen in Use.”
My second clue was that he had more stories than carter has little pills, most of which sounded plausible until they were thought about.
1) Story #1–He hadn’t changed his phone, drivers license, vehicle registration, or license plates from California.
He supposedly thought that he didn’t need to do all that because his drivers license was valid for 4 more years, his vehicle registration was valid until 2012, and his vehicle insurance was valid for another 6 months (in California, of course).
Oh really? When I moved to Arizona and back during the summer of 1998 I was required to register my truck immediately in Arizona, get an Arizona drivers license, and insure my truck in Arizona. When I returned to Oregon less than 3 months later with my fully registered and insured (in Arizona) truck had to be re-registered and re-insured in OREGON.
There are other reasons for him not changing all this information but I will get to that a bit later in this narrative.
2) Story #2–he’d supposedly applied for food stamps here in Oregon and told them he had ‘no address’ because he didn’t want the crazy lady he lived with to have any access to his food stamps.
It is my understanding that to apply for and receive self-sufficiency benefits in the state of Oregon that you have to give the self-sufficiency office some sort of address, even if it is a homeless shelter. It is also my understanding that criminal backgrounds must be disclosed when seeking help from the self-sufficiency office.
3) Story #3–he wanted to move in immediately because the lady he was currently living with was extremely bi-polar and was always kicking him out (and then letting him move in again). My major problem with this was that he did not have money to pay rent between June 25 and July 3 when he would get his next Social Security check.
4) He did not provide any references at all. If you refer again to the ad (link above) I asked for 2-3 verifiable personal or business references.
5) He gave me his California drivers license so I could run a background check. He went outside to smoke a cigarette while I ran the background check, but he returned within 2 minutes. Even if Been Verified had accepted my debit card I wouldn’t have been able to run the background check in that short a time frame.
6) He made comments all through the conversation that were inappropriate (it became clear he wanted a ‘relationship’ whereas I want a ‘roommate’ period. end of story.)
7) He wanted a TV in the room he would have been renting. Fine, buddy; buy one yourself.
So he finally leaves (after talking my ear off for at least an hour) and we decide I will call him later Friday or Saturday with my decision.
I think he thought that I was so desperate for money that I would rent to him no matter how many red flags I found. Well, yes, I need the money that much is indeed true…..but I don’t need a ‘relationship’ with a convicted sex offender (mind you, in an hour or more of talking, he never once mentioned that conviction–makes me wonder what else he conveniently ‘forgot’ to mention!).
I went back to the number investigator site and decided to do some poking around, since I’d not been able to run the background check. *Been Verified* claims to offer free background checks, but they do not accept debit cards for the free trial (suspicious in and of itself since they aren’t going to be charging the account for 7 days anyway!).
Luckily for me, he had an unusual last name.
I found him (complete with picture, age, and birthdate information which all matched what he’d said to me) on Family Watchdog (http://familywatchdog.us/). He was convicted of this (quoted from site “220 ASSAULT WITH INTENT TO COMMIT A SPECIFIED SEX OFFENSE”)
So whats he doing running around finding other people to victimize?
I called the cops on Friday and told them the story. There’s a reason he hasn’t changed any of his information from California, he would have to register in Oregon as a sex offender.
It gets better though. Saturday the man calls FOUR times, three of those calls were within a minute of each other. He also came over and left a note on my front porch.
I told the park manager who lives across the street from me that if he saw Richard here at any time to do something official LOL; I told him why, and he told me that as a private entity (not a corporation) I can just say NO to anyone without fear of being hit with a discrimination lawsuit. He’d also seen Richard and his car so he knew who/what he was looking for.
I called him Saturday afternoon around 2:30 pm and left a voicemail message stating that I’d wasn’t going to rent to him because it just wasn’t a good fit in my opinion.
I thought that was that. I was wrong. I just received a phone call from him.
I called the cops. I am hoping to get him arrested for harrassment now since its obvious he wont drop this. I do not like that he knows where I live and that he knows my phone number.
The cops are calling him to tell him to cease and desist calling me or contacting me in any way. If he calls me again or comes over here after they talk to him, they will deal with it.