Wheat Ridge, CO ~ On September 3, 2015, the Wheat Ridge Police Department arrested Michelle Copeland, a 39 year-old female, in connection with a Craigslist scam. The Police Department was contacted by neighbors who were concerned that a family had moved into an abandoned home in their Wheat Ridge neighborhood.
The neighbors knew the house was in the process of foreclosure proceedings and had been vacant for an extended period of time. An investigation revealed that the family who was living in the house found it in a Craigslist.org ad under the “For Rent” section. The victim had met with Copeland, who was using the false name of Lisa Sandoval, and negotiated lease terms for the home. The victim paid cash for the first month’s rent and deposit. The police department determined that Copeland did not represent the homeowner and had no authority to rent the residence. The Police Department is working with several community organizations to assist the victim family with their needs.
Copeland is currently being held at the Jefferson County Jail on charges of Burglary, Theft and Computer Crime.
The Police Department believes there may be additional victims involved. If you have any information related to this case, please contact the Wheat Ridge Police Department Tip Line at 303-235-2947. A photograph of Copeland is attached.