SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — A woman who placed an advertisement on Craigslist listing an apartment that she was not authorized to rent was arrested after she allegedly misled her victims and kept their money, according to police.
Lisa Hinerman, 26, a Portland-area transient who has prior convictions for theft, is facing two felony counts of theft by deception, according to South Portland police Lt. Frank Clark.
The two victims notified police on Wednesday that they had responded to an ad listing a Grandview Avenue apartment for rent, according to Clark, and both victims had met with Hinerman.
“Both victims reported that they had met with someone who had represented themselves as the person responsible for renting the property,” said Clark.
Both victims reportedly gave Hinerman cash as a deposit for rent.
The property actually is owned by the South Portland Housing Authority, Clark said.
During the investigation, police contacted Hinerman and she agreed to meet with one of the victims at a Portland hotel on Thursday morning. Instead, she was greeted by police and arrested.
The ad has been removed from Craigslist and Clark is advising the public to be aware that Craigslist ads may be used to prey on the public.
“There is still a lot of validity to the statement, ‘if it seems too good to be true,’” Clark said.
Additional charges are likely against Hineman pending a review by the district attorney’s office, Clark said. She was booked into the Cumberland County Jail, where she remained Thursday.
The total loss is being estimated at $1,800, according to Clark, and police also believe other victims may have visited the property. Anyone with information should contact South Portland police at 799-5511.