smith.jpgThe last we heard of alleged apartment-scammer Rachel Marie Smith, she was expected to strike a plea deal that included restitution to four of those taken in her alleged scam. But it was apparently not to be — according to the SF District Attorney’s office, she’s on the lam.

It was July 2010 when Smith was charged with eight counts each of grand theft and obtaining money under false pretenses after she posted ads on Craigslist saying a Richmond District apartment she claimed was hers was available for lease.

Upon receiving a deposit for the apartment, Smith would allegedly delay the move-in date, saying her mother had cancer. Subsequent phone calls were reportedly ignored, and the deposits were never returned.

At least eighteen potential renters had allegedly received such treatment at her hands, to the tune of at least $110,000. On June 7, the Ex reported that she was expected to agree to a plea deal to pay some of her alleged victims back, but she apparently never showed up for that court date, or for her next one, or her next one.

After she skipped her court date on June 7, 2011, a bench warrant was issued in the amount of $110,000, says Assistant District Attorney Seth Steward. That warrant was stayed for a month to give her a chance to return to court last Thursday. Smith missed that court appearance, too, and was given one last chance to come to court on Friday.

When she failed to appear on Friday, July 8, the judge issued a bench warrant in the amount of $200,000.

“She skipped town,” Steward told the Ex. “She’s running.”

Steward said Smith had not turned herself in as of this morning.

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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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