Police: Thief targeting real estate open houses in Apex
Posted February 24, 2012
Updated February 25, 2012
Apex, N.C. — Police said Friday that they are searching for a man who stole jewelry from at least three Apex homes during open houses hosted by real estate agents.
The thief grabbed more than $18,600 in jewelry from two homes in the Scotts Mill subdivision and one in the Walden Creek subdivision between Feb. 11 and Feb. 17, police said.
Police have only a vague description of the suspected thief.
James Shaw, team leader with Keller Williams, which listed one of the homes that was robbed, said homeowners need to hide valuable items when they prepare their properties for an open house.
"You want to have all of your valuables locked up. There's no reason to have them out. It's really common sense," Shaw said. "Put away anything really important to you. Don't leave your iPad out. Don't leave anything that is expensive out."
Capt. Ann Stephens of the Apex Police Department said that people also should make sure that anyone looking at their home during an open house is never be left alone.
Trish Gregory Rand, a spokeswoman for the Raleigh Regional Association of Realtors, said thefts during open houses are rare, and the group encourages real estate companies to have agents work in teams during open houses and use a sign-in sheet to know who has been looking at the homes.