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Police: Thief targeting real estate open houses in Apex

Posted February 24, 2012
Updated February 25, 2012

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— 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."

Scotts Mill subdivision in Apex Apex homes robbed during open houses

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.

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  • Vietnam Vet Feb 27, 2012

    Whether or not the homeowner shouldn't have left things in plain sight or unsecured, the realtor conducting the open house was negligent and should be responsible. I've never been in a neighborhood open house (and I go to them all the time)where the agent showing the home doesnt' escort folks through the property. Total negligence on the agent's part.

  • superman Feb 27, 2012

    A fool and their jewelry are soon parted. Even when I go to work, I secure my laptop and dont keep my Rolex watch on the kitchen table. Unless they had a rider on their insurance the jewelry probably will not be covered. Sounds like a case of insurance fraud cause it is diffiult to believe anyone would be so careless. I hope they can find all the receipts for that jewelry and pictures.

  • Lightfoot3 Feb 27, 2012

    "You want to have all of your valuables locked up." - article

    Well, duh! I'd never have ANYTHING of value that wasn't locked up or nailed down if I had complete strangers walking through my house. I'd also have video surveillance going on in case of vandalism.

  • storchheim Feb 24, 2012

    I never allow open houses. If someone's serious about buying my house, let them contact my realtor or get one of their own.

    Sign-in sheets - don't make me laugh. Do you check ID too?

  • vraptor Feb 24, 2012

    how about packing heat??? a friend of mine at work teaches gun training classes. in one saturday day. you can get your concealed carry permit. i am going to take the next one.

  • turkeydance Feb 24, 2012

    real estate agents and homeowners are so desperate to get
    anyone/anyhow to 'look' at a home for sale, that they let
    normal precautions slide.

  • Rebelyell55 Feb 24, 2012

    Smell like a set up and insurance fraud.

  • Rolling Along Feb 24, 2012

    It happens during regular showings too, not just at open houses...