Craigslist

Minneapolis gift shop to close after being hit with fake sidewalk scare Craigslist post

A Minneapolis small business owner is closing after a tumultuous year. Her small gift shop, Cockadoodledoo in the Bryn Mawr district, was the target of a sophisticated theft scheme involving a fake posting on the popular online classifieds site, Craigslist.

Cockadoodledoo is a familiar storefront with its iconic giant roosters near the intersection of Cedar Lake Road and Penn Avenue South where owner Gerry Seiler fills his sidewalk with merchandise for sale. It was this commodity that was targeted in the fraudulent February post in what is called an “edge alert.” The Craigslist ad advertised that everything is free on the sidewalk, everything must go.

“I’m going to take this as a learning experience, a real learning experience, that there are horrible people out there,” Seiler recently told FOX 9’s Paul Blume. “It was pretty surreal that it happened. But I’m on a new journey right now.”

Emerging from the retail woes of the pandemic, Seiler took an additional hit with the announcement that appeared to be a coordinated effort to ransack and steal its sidewalk merchandise.

FOX 9 has obtained surveillance video of the February 27 large-scale robbery with people fleeing with more than $13,000 worth of goods.

In a shock to Seiler and others close to him, a Minneapolis Police Department investigation containing search warrant data obtained from Craigslist found the apparently fraudulent post was likely created by someone connected to a business in the same neighborhood.

“It was debilitating for me to really understand that someone would do this egregious act and also plan it,” Seiler explained. “The blatantness and mindset of the deviant behavior is truly inadmissible.”

No criminal charges have been filed, although Seiler’s morale has been buoyed in recent months as the initial FOX 9 story and word of mouth spread that the Craigslist ad was a fake. which led to some of those who left with goods returning the goods and apologizing. .

“I’m honored to know that there are honorable people out there, and I thank them for that. Really,” Seiler said.

Police reports reviewed by FOX 9 indicate that a cell phone number and email address linked to the fake Craigslist post can be traced to a nearby business owner in the same Bryn Mawr neighborhood. But that owner told investigators 13 people had access to his phone, making it nearly impossible for prosecutors to hold an individual responsible for a crime.

As for Seiler, if he loves the neighborhood and his store, he made the difficult decision given all he’s been through and what he describes as a changing Minneapolis to close this place at the end of October. A sign currently outside Cockadoodledoo proclaims a ‘moving sale’ at 35% off. Seiler’s shop will be open on weekends until it finally closes.

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