Court documents in the strange case were made public this week.
The real estate agent who had listed the home for $179,000 reported the stolen sign and the break-in to police.
According to a search warrant, an ad for the north Raleigh home was placed on the Craigslist web site for $55,000 cash. A potential investor called the agent when he saw the Craigslist ad and realized it was the same home the agent was selling.
"That's very bold. I wouldn't dream of trying to do something like that. Wouldn't know how to go about it," offered Mary Williams, who lives near the home.
The investor kept an appointment to see the house, and the warrant says 22-year-old Gerald Harris was arrested when he showed up to give the tour. He was allegedly carrying a briefcase with a new door lock inside.
Harris has a lengthy record of breaking and entering and theft.
According to state prison records, Harris went to jail when he was 17, served more than two years, but was charged with stealing again less than a year after his release in the summer of 2009. He served six weeks on those charges and is currently on probation as he sits in the Wake County jail.