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Five Colorado Crimes With Ties to Craigslist

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The shocking story of Dynel Lane, who's accused of cutting a pregnant woman's unborn child from her womb, has a connection to Craigslist.

The victim in the case is said to have responded to Lane's Craigslist post advertising baby clothes for sale.

This is hardly the first time we've covered crimes in which Craigslist was a component.

Below, see five examples from the past several years, featuring text from our original items.

Some of them are comparatively minor and even funny at times. Others could hardly be more serious and shocking.

Get the details below, and click on the headlines to see our original coverage.

October 27, 2011

The guy juggling two dates at the same time is a sitcom staple, and it's usually resolved in wacky fashion.

But a happy ending seems unlikely in the case of Kevin Gaylor, who gave this plot a high-tech twist — by reporting a woman he'd "met" on Craigslist as a burglar in a failed attempt to keep his mouse-work a secret from his girlfriend.

According to the Colorado Springs Police Department, a report of a burglary involving a suspect armed with a weapon was made from a four-plex on the benign-sounding street of Picturesque Circle. The Stetson Hills division responded in force, rolling out five officers to the location. They quickly nabbed the female in question — but it didn't take much questioning to determine that the tale being told had more than a few holes in it.

The woman told the cops she'd connected with the reporting party — Gaylor, age 24 — via Craigslist, and had headed over to his place to get "better acquainted."

Feel free to insert a "nudge, nudge" and a "wink, wink."

In the interim, however, Gaylor's girlfriend turned up unexpectedly, and was on hand when the woman arrived. So, presumably to cover his cyber-surfing, Gaylor allegedly phoned police and claimed his Craigslist pal was trying to commit a crime.

Police say the real crime-committer was Gaylor, who was taken into custody and charged with misdemeanor false reporting to authorities.

He's since been released. No telling if he's sharing his tale of woe with the aforementioned girlfriend, or someone from Craigslist.

November 10, 2011

Craigslist is a great way to sell stuff, whether it belongs to you or not. But eighteen-year-old Denzel O'Neal Crawford learned the service also gives ballsy crime victims the opportunity to reclaim their property.

That's precisely what Boulder's Kathryn Lucas did with her stolen bicycle.

Lucas told CBS4 she had locked up her Trek road bike outside the Lazy Dog on Boulder's Pearl Street Mall, then went inside to watch a game. When she came out, her wheels were missing.

Gone for good? Not quite. Lucas subsequently took a look on Craigslist to see if the bicycle thief was stupid enough to place it there for sale — and it turns out he was. She soon found a listing for her bike, complete with a photo that allowed her to make a positive ID, and decided to contact the seller while posing as a customer.

Before long, she was at Crawford's place in Westminster. She told him she was interested in the bike, but wanted to give it a test-ride. So she hopped aboard, started pedaling — and never came back.

Instead, she loaded the bike into her car, drove away and called the law on Crawford. Cops soon showed up, and the Boulder Daily Camera notes that he admitted to stealing the bike, according to the police report.

The story has since gone national, with CBS running the package on its network, and other outlets picking it up. Lucas, meanwhile, has gotten a new bike lock — one good enough, hopefully, to make detective work like the kind that led to Crawford's arrest unnecessary in the future.

October 1, 2012

Billy Joe Delacey is a U.S. Army veteran who had two war-zone deployments. But this service to his country didn't prevent him from being indicted in relation to a brutal crime — the fatal Mesa County beating of a male escort he's said to have met on Craigslist.

At around 6:20 a.m. on August 1, 2011, according to the indictment, Mesa County Sheriff deputies were sent to an apartment on the 500 block of 29 Road, where they found the body of Luis "Beto" Oliva," a 26 year old described as an undocumented Mexican national. He was naked and laying face up on a deflated air mattress, with a large amount of blood pooled around his head and dried to his face.

An autopsy later determined that Oliva died from blunt force trauma inflicted upon him from behind.

The initial report came from Morayma Alejandra, Oliva's part-time roommate. She was in Denver when the crime was committed, having last seen Oliva when he'd taken her to the local bus station a couple of days earlier. He was supposed to pick her up at the station early on August 1 but never showed up.

Shortly thereafter, investigators were led to Brandon Wathan, Oliva's romantic partner; he called the late Beto his "wife." The pair had recently become unemployed, said Wathan, so they began advertising for Oliva to perform male massages and "sexual services" on Craigslist — and they continued to do so even after Wathan was hired to work for an oil-rig catering company.

A search of Craigslist correspondence before the service pulled the plug on the account for violating its standards revealed that Oliva had been scheduled to rendezvous with a person using the e-mail address ninetysevenecho@gmail.com on July 30, and again on July 31. The e-mailer identified himself as a resident of Fruita, Colorado, named Billly, with the arrangements for the second meeting implying that something had gone wrong at the first meet-up. Billy's message read in part, "I promise I won't be nervous again. I'll cum this time I swear."

The exchanges also included some negotiating. Billy offered $80 for sex, while Oliva demanded $100 — the amount of cash found in a hall closet shared by Oliva and Wathan. Moreover, a photo sent by Billy was subsequently identified as Delacey by comparing it to a previous mug shot of him.

Continue to read more about the case against Billy Joe Delacey.

That brought investigators to Delacey's home, and after a bit of hemming and hawing, he admitted that the ninetysevenecho@gmail.com address was his; he explained that "ninety seven echo" was his military occupation specialty designation while serving in Afghanistan. (He also did a tour in Iraq.) At that point, he admitted getting together with Oliva, but insisted that they hadn't had sex. Instead, he said he'd received a massage to his calves and hamstrings, after which he changed his mind about going further.

The indictment notes inconsistencies in Delacey's later statements — about a rent payment, money supposedly owed to him and a trip to a gas station. In addition, he allegedly downloaded a program on his laptop called "Evidence Eliminator" and declined to take a polygraph.

The investigation stalled after that, but a new development popped up in December: Cops were contacted by Delacey's ex-girlfriend — the mother of his first child. She went by school to pick up the boy, only to learn that Delacey had already done so, and that he was supposedly due for another deployment.

The next day, investigators tracked down Delacey at a storage unit, where he told them the same story. But a check with the military showed Delacey hadn't been on active duty since 2008.

Cut to last month, when Colorado law enforcers tracked down Delacey in Pennsylvania, where he had moved in with his mom and stepfather before moving in with his stepbrother. The stepdad had been told a "masseur" Delacey knew had been killed after the latter had visited him due to problems he was having with his shoulder and arm — no mention of the calf and hamstring.

This accumulation of factoids apparently was enough to convince a grand jury to issue an indictment against Delacey, who was taken into custody in Pennsylvania without incident. Charges against him include counts of first-degree and second-degree murder, as well as possession of sexually exploitive material — specifically photos of two boys apparently under the age of eighteen engaging in oral sex and others showing seemingly underage girls exposing their breasts, which turned up on his computer despite the use of the "Evidence Eliminator" program. The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports that Delacey is being held without bond, presumably in anticipation of his extradition back to Colorado.

October 26, 2012

In November 2011, we told you about the murder of Thomas Bashline, a sometime trainer for the Harlem Globetrotters.

Just under a year later, Draton Mares, 24, has been convicted of first-degree murder in the crime, which took place after a relationship that began more than a year earlier with a Craigslist hookup went terribly wrong.

As we've reported, Bashline, who was 42 at the time of his death, supplemented his occasional work as a trainer for the Globetrotters with a side business in which he tested athletes for performance-enhancing drugs.

The latter gig factored in on early speculation about a motive after an unresponsive Bashline was found by a girlfriend at his Frederick home on November 4. (Although emergency personnel didn't initially characterize the case as a homicide because there were no obvious signs of trauma on the body, a bullet entry wound was subsequently discovered.) But investigators at the Weld County Sheriff's Office began working on a different theory after Bashline's stolen Chevy pickup was found in Boulder, more than twenty miles from his home, with a semi-automatic handgun thought to be the murder weapon inside it. Shortly thereafter, they arrested a man later identified as Mares for the slaying.

What happened? WCSO sources said Mares and Bashline had met via the "man-for-man personals section" of Craiglist. Bashline was thought to have driven to Longmont to pick up Mares, then took him back to his place, after which the man shot him in the head and stole his truck.

Many more details emerged during Mares's recently concluded trial, which lasted nine days.

Prosecutors put forward a simple scenario. They said Mares and Bashline had met through Craigslist way back in May 2010. On the fateful day in November 2011, Bashline drove Mares to his place and laid down on his bed for a nude massage. But something went wrong, the prosecution contended, with Mares eventually blindfolding Bashline, covering his head with a pillow and shooting him with a handgun he'd swiped in a previous burglary before stealing his truck and making his getaway.

Evidence used to connect Mares to the crime included DNA, text messages and feathers that were found both at the victim's house and on the accused killer's shoes.

As for Mares, he didn't deny pulling the trigger in testimony recounted by the Boulder Daily Camera. Instead, his legal team focused on arguing that second-degree murder was a more appropriate charge, because the killing had happened during the heat of passion.

Mares testified that during the massage, Bashline referred to him using variations on the word "faggot" a number of times, and used what the Camera describes as a "vulgar Spanish term" while throwing him down on the bed, thereby triggering memories of a rape Mares said he'd suffered at age seventeen. But he claimed the breaking point came when Bashline criticized his massage in comparison to ones given him by "my girl" — a reference to a straight relationship of which Mares was supposedly unaware until that moment.

Hence, the blindfolding (which was done with socks) and the fatal shot, after which Mares grabbed some wine and a few other items before leaving in Bashline's truck.

In the end, however, the jury didn't buy these explanations — at least not to a degree that the charge was lessened. The members eventually convicted Mares of first-degree murder, in addition to a single count of aggravated motor-vehicle theft. "We're satisfied that justice was served in this case," Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck said afterward, in a statement. "Thomas Bashline didn't deserve to die that day. Now his killer will spend the rest of his life behind prison walls thanks to the good work of the dedicated investigators and prosecutors in this case."

Bashline wasn't forgotten by the Globetrotters, either. After his death, the team issued a statement that read in part, "Our condolences go out to Tom's family and friends. The entire Harlem Globetrotters organization is deeply saddened by this news."

August 8, 2013

If you live in the Colorado Springs area and you're told to drop off an item for sale on that city's Craigslist website at 854 Chapman Drive, think twice.

This number of thoughts isn't suggested at random.

Turns out that people trying to complete Craigslist transactions at that address have twice been jacked over the course of three days. 

At 10:35 p.m. on August 6, according to the Colorado Springs Police Department blotter, officers were called to the apartments at 854 Chapman Drive on what's described as a "personal robbery."

There, the victim told the cops he'd been attempting to sell an item on Craigslist and had agreed to meet a potential buyer at the aforementioned apartments to complete the transaction.

The pair met out front, and after handing over the item in question, they went inside, presumably for cash. Instead, the suspect pulled out a gun and ordered the seller to leave the area immediately.

For fans of the CSPD blotter, this narrative is likely to prompt a case of déjà vu. A separate report reveals that officers had been called to the same apartment complex at 11:50 p.m. on August 4 for what sounds like an incredibly similar crime. In that case, the victim said he'd been trying to sell something on Craigslist, and after meeting a man at the 854 Chapman Drive address, the guy grabbed the item, brandished a handgun and told the seller to get the hell outta there.

The descriptions of the gunman aren't identical, but close. In the August 4 incident, he's said to have been an African-American male in his early twenties, approximately five-ten or five-eleven in height, with short facial hair. As for the guy in ripoff number two, he was described as an African-American male in his early twenties, but shorter — about five-nine — with a mustache and a "fade cut hairstyle." But in both instances, the rendezvous time was late, between ten and midnight.

One piece of advice from the cops: "The Colorado Springs Police Department recommends that any personal transactions being completed with people that you do not know be conducted in public places where there would be witnesses."

Good idea. 

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

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