Colorado Springs

11 people claim to be victims of Colorado Springs Craigslist thief

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Eleven people in Colorado Springs have come forward saying they're victims of a man believed to be running a lucrative fraud scheme on Craigslist.

Colorado Springs police have a man named Tyshawn Gayle in custody in connection with the crimes.

Investigators believe Gayle answered ads on Craigslist from people searching for a roommate. Gayle would reportedly move in with the victim and then move out less than a month later with their belongings.

The police report suggests expensive things like cars, game systems, and cash were taken between the 11 victims. 

"The internet is just alive with fraud," said Det. Jon Price with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

Price said one way to help prevent this is a simple background check. The simplest way to do this is to use a background check agency online. You can find some by searching online for "background check" or "criminal report". Just be sure to check reviews.

"A background check can give you their financial history, credit history, and criminal history," said Price. "It can raise all kinds of red flags about that person."

Another tip is to take inventory of your belongings. 

"It's really helpful to police if you write down the serial numbers of all your valuables," Price said. "That helps us track it if it's stolen."

Investigators said a similar crime is also being executed through a dating site called "Meet Me." This is where scammers will try to move in with their victims with the intention to steal from them. 

Gayle is currently facing multiple counts of burglary and identity theft charges.

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