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Before a recent U-Haul move from Virginia to Maryland, I noticed a Craigslist add for moving help. My wife and I own a hefty couch and way too many boxes of books to lug up three flights of stairs. I responded. A guy named Kenny e-mailed back asking $15 an hour.

Seemed fair. It was set.

A day before the move, I ran Kenny’s name on the Maryland online court records page.

Two pages of Kenny. A couple of marijuana possession charges. A divorce. Open alcohol. Enough speeding tickets to lose a license. So he might be drunk, stoned, and single as we moved my couch? Not a deal breaker.

Then there it was, the 2003 guilty plea to a burglary charge. And the theft charge he beat later that year.

Hmmm, I thought. I don’t have anything worth stealing. And the couch is pretty heavy. The conviction was four years ago.

Still, I called Kenny. Told him my brother was going to help me move after all. He didn’t seem too upset.

You can do online criminal searches in Maryland. You can do them in Virginia. You can’t do them in the District. Not yet anyway. I called the courthouse this morning. A receptionist tells me they are working on it.

Maybe it will be up by the time my back heals.