LODI, CA - The owner of a Lodi exotic pet shop said she's the victim of a Craigslist smear campaign. An ad popped up claiming her store was selling illegal animals, something she strongly denies.
Naomi Berry thought she was doing another animal dealer a favor. She saw an ad on Craigslist advertising common snapping turtles for sale.
It is illegal to sell snapping turtles in California. Berry thought the person who posted the ad didn't know, so decided to help the person out.
"When I see things like that, I like to give people a heads up," Berry said. "Because sometimes they don't know. They come from another state."
Berry's well-intentioned advice led to a nasty and threatening response from the turtle seller.
"Now ur mouth has gotten u in trouble... I'll be there soon... I know where ull be every day.0. so I can show up whenever I want."
Then later, a phony Craigslist ad, apparently from Naomi's shop, popped up, advertising illegal American alligator hatchlings for sale.
"This is someone trying to hurt us, yes," Berry said. "Definitely somebody who is trying to hurt us. Hurt me."
Lodi police said they don't consider the nasty text messages a credible threat to Naomi's safety. But at this point, she's more concerned about the phony Craigslist ad because that is an attack on her reputation.