Police task force scours craigslist to recover stolen goods; What is craiglist doing to help?

If a police detective ever referred to Geebo as “the ultimate pawn shop” and a police task force had to be created because of the criminal activity being conducted solely on my site, I think I would seriously think about closing up shop and walking away with my head held down in shame.

Yet, my counterparts over at craigslist seem to be OK with that negative stigma attached to their site. The company was recently the basis for a segment on ABC News, centered around a Portland, Ore. police task force that’s recovering stolen property that’s being sold on craigslist.

You see, because it’s so easy to buy and sell on craigslist without any accountability, it has become the marketplace of choice for criminals – and that’s made it easy for burglary victims, as well as police, to recover the property. Police in Portland boast a success rate of about 80 percent. That’s pretty good and I’m sure the victims are pretty happy.

But watch the ABC news clip and tell me if you notice what I noticed.

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In the two sting operations that were aired, neither of the sellers turned out to be the thieves themselves. In fact, one was reportedly a victim, as well – or so it was reported. So, while the police were able to recover the property – which is a good thing – they didn’t make any arrests.

Here’s my question: What is craiglist doing to deter criminals from using its site to peddle stolen goods? Is it reviewing ads for possible red-flags, the same way the cops are? I mean, come on, the police are getting better at identifying possible stolen property in the ads – high-priced items listed at fire-sale prices with very little details about the items. Are these items often posted by the same email addresses? That’s only something craigslist would know.

If criminals knew that craigslist and police were working together to deter the selling of stolen goods on the site, don’t you think the activity would come to a halt – or at least slow down? But it seems like the cops are on their own here – and taxpayers are footing the bill. Police resources are thin these days and here we have an entire task force devoted to criminal activity being conducted on one site.

What a waste.

Related: ABC News: What to do if you find your stolen property on Craigslist.