MCMINNVILLE, Ore. – Four additional victims came forward Thursday in a McMinnville rental scam, involving a known con man, police said.
Ten other victims had earlier reported to police they were scammed out of $1,000 each by a man who goes by the name Jerry Carpenter. He is reportedly collecting deposits, rent and paperwork from prospective renters he met through Craigslist for homes that aren’t for rent.
The man identifying himself as Carpenter is also known as Jerry Rosenstiel, a long-term con man involved in numerous scams over the past several years, said Tim Symons with the McMinnville Police Department.
The first victim contacted police after she gave “Jerry” $1,000 in cash deposits, rent and signed a rental agreement for a home at 242 SW Manzanita Street on July 23, Symons said. A second victim reported a nearly identical situation later that same day.
Over the course of two weeks, eight other victims reported similar scams with a man they met on Craigslist.
Police said when they find him, they’ll arrest him.
"It's kind of scary to think you can be scammed that way first of all," said victim Laci Cannard. "It's upsetting because now what are we to do."
Police said “Jerry" accepted thousands of dollars from the victims, none of whom have been refunded or granted access to the rental.
Rosenstiel’s attorney claims his client does own the home and paid cash for it through a foreclosure purchase. He also said Rosenstiel was in the process of writing cashiers checks to all the victims.
McMinnville police are seeking additional information about “Jerry” and are trying to identify other potential victims.
"I want my money back," said victim Debbie Kelchner. "I want to find a place to live."
Anyone with information was asked to call 503-434-6500.