Greenfield Man Scams Locals on Craigslist

Jan. 8, 2014

What started off as a simple transaction turned into a nightmare.

My husband and I are remodeling our kitchen and wanted to upgrade to stainless steel appliances. Since our house is a starter home, some people recommended buying lightly used appliances on craigslist.

After searching through the listings, I saw one that caught my eye. It was a Frigidaire stainless steel convection oven. I personally didn't care if it was a convection oven or not, but I was looking for something newer with five burners, which it had. I called the guy and he said it was two years old and was in very nice condition. At that point, I arranged a time to meet him at his home at 4439 S. 67th St. in Greenfield.

When we arrived, the stove was in the back of a covered pick-up truck and we had to crawl in get a better look. It was hard to see it, but it looked fine. While we were looking, the guy was going on and on about how great it was, how he had paid $1,600 for it. He said the only reason he was selling it was because he wanted to upgrade to an electric stove. When he moved it, I noticed a few pieces of dog food come out from the back. That was a red flag and I should have said no thank you. The man, who claimed his name was John Wills, said "oh, she must have put dog food in the warmer, but that will be easy to clean out." He was very persistent on the price and refused to come down because it was so new and expensive. He then offered to put something in writing guaranteeing me a full refund it I was not happy with the product. I paid $350, loaded it into my vehicle and took it home.

Once home, we started cleaning it and realized that it was from 1995 and had been sitting somewhere for years to the point where it had been infested with rodents. Dog food had fallen behind the warmer and a mouse nest was in the back of it. Mouse droppings were everywhere! (After thoroughly cleaning the back of my car and back porch, where I put the stove, I still have a trail of mouse poop leading from the driveway to my back door!) It was also clear that this stove was different from the photos posted online, but the photos were quickly removed from craigslist.

Completely disgusted, I called John immediately. He didn't answer. My husband and I then loaded it back up in our car, got our 2-year-old son bundled up appropriately for the minus weather conditions and drove back to the man's house. He and a woman were watching the Packer game and refused to answer the door.

I was starting to doubt whether or not the man's name was even John Wills as the mailbox said Jobke and after looking up the property on the city of Greenfield's Web site, I found that the home belonged to Cynthia Jobke.

Not knowing what else to do and desperately wanting this 'rat trap' out of my vehicle, I called the police. They arrived, only to say that a crime had not been committed and my only solution was to file a civil lawsuit. I showed them the paper that he had signed guaranteeing my money back, and they said my only option was to use it against him in court. However, it costs money to take him to civil court.

We went home. Later, I called the man on a different phone, so that he wouldn't recognize the number. He immediately answered. I told him that I didn't want the stove and wanted my money back. He said "do what the cops said and take me to court." He then hung up.

At that point, it was obvious that he had been in this situation before. There was no way he could have heard my conversation with police as they were away from his house and we were talking quietly. This man has done this before, probably many times. He lied about what he was selling and took advantage of me and my husband as a means for him to make money. I am currently out of $350, a substantial loss for a family living paycheck to paycheck.

I know this man, who goes by the name of John Wills, is currently selling a washing machine and stainless steel side by side refrigerator. I wanted to post this to inform others about this man and to avoid someone else from going through the same debacle that I did.

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