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Alleged rental scammer taken into custody on new charges

Jerry Rosenstiel
Jerry Rosenstiel

Aug 27, 2014


By Paul Daquilante
Of the News-Register


Alleged Craigslist scammer Jerry Rosenstiel, who police say collected about $18,000 in deposits from from more than a dozen people, all on the same McMinnville rental home in 2013, was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon by the Washington County Sheriff's Office with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service.

He is lodged in the Washington County Jail in Hillsboro on $500,000 while awaiting transport back to Yamhill County.

The 54-year-old Rosenstiel faces new charges unrelated to a 13-count Yamhill County Grand Jury indictment related to the initial case.

He failed to show last week for arraignment in circuit court on the new charges. McMinnville police issued a warrant for his arrest.

The police extended their thanks to the agencies that apprehended Rosenstiel and to the public for tips and information that were provided regarding his whereabouts.

Rosenstiel's last known address was on Southwest 196th Avenue in Beaverton.

Two new cases have been brought against Rosenstiel. In one, he was indicted on one count each of first-degree forgery and identity theft, Class C felonies, and four counts of negotiating a bad check, Class A misdemeanors. In the other, he was indicted on one count of aggravated first-degree theft, a Class B felony.

Rosenstiel was initially arraigned Aug. 16, 2013 on charges related to last year's case. Bail was set at $150,000. He posted the required 10 percent, or $15,000, and was released from custody two months later.

He was scheduled to go on trial on that case beginning with jury selection at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2. Rosenstiel is represented by privately retained attorney Ted Coran of Salem.

"These are new victims, and the activity is in keeping with Jerry's way of dealing with people," a police spokesperson said. "The charges do not involve the rental house, but they are similar to how he has tended to his criminal activity."

New victims came forward, the spokesperson said, and court records place the crimes occurring in July and October of 2013, about the same time Rosenstiel allegedly scammed the would-be renters.

In a probable cause affidavit, police gave this account of the rental scam case:

On July 3, 2013, a resident responded to a Craigslist ad for a rental house on Southwest Manzanita Street. She gave Rosenstiel a deposit of more than $1,000 to hold the property for a couple of weeks while repairs were carried out.

Another resident did the same on July 15. Between July 23 and Aug. 15, others followed, putting up deposits of as much as $2,500.

However, he never allowed any of them to either take possession or get their money back, offering a continuing series of excuses. In fact, he continued to collect various amounts of additional money from some of them.

Anyone with information regarding recent activity involving Rosenstiel should contact McMinnville police at 503-434-7307 or the Yamhill Communications Agency non-emergency line at 503-434-6500.

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