Danger, Will Robinson… theft types for all to be aware of

Prescription Drug Thefts
NWMLS has once again received reports of prescription drug thefts at Broker Open Houses in the Seattle area. NWMLS advises you to request a business card or require registration at all open houses from everyone in order to keep track of those in attendance. In addition, please report similar thefts to NWMLS, as well as a list of attendees so that we may look for patterns in behavior and conduct. Please also remind your clients to remove or secure their possessions, particularly their prescriptions, before their home is shown or held open.

Staging Thefts Reported
Area 500: Keyboxes were missing on two new construction properties. One house was missing all staging items, including high-end appliances. The second property was missing the keybox (no staging was taken). Police have been notified.
Area 770: All staging material was taken — including a ceiling fan removed from the ceiling. The keybox was not broken into. Marysville police have been notified.
These notices were just put out by the NWMLS to highlight recent thefts – this after the notice about copper being stolen out of new construction and vacant homes. Thieves targeting houses seem to be getting more common or we’re just hearing about it more.
What can you do to help thwart these kinds of problems? Make sure also to leave outside lights on if you aren’t living on the premises so people in the neighborhood can see what’s going on in your yard. Perhaps have a friendly neighbor keep an eye on your place and to be willing to call if there is any suspicious activity. I’ve often knocked on neighbor’s doors to tell them if the house will be vacant and to ask for help in watching out for predatory types. Especially if we’ve already moved some things out for staging I’ll be sure to tell the neighbor, “if you see another moving truck here and there is no SOLD sign on the yardarm or we haven’t told you the place is sold, call the police.”
The NWMLS tells agents to secure keyboxes to properties yet I still find them on front porches of homes without any kind of attachment such as a bicycle lock or otherwise. Why are these sellers and their agents not securing the keys to the home? There really is no good reason not to given the number of resources available to do so. I’ve also spoken with other staging companies that have had their products stolen out of vacant homes including the home’s appliances. This is pretty serious stuff and if it doesn’t get better soon it could make people very nervous about selling their homes.
For goodness sake, if you’re going to sell your home be sure your agent is going to secure the keybox at the property – in fact, help them secure it. Good ways to do this include not having the keybox out in the open where it’s obvious, using a strong bicycle lock, or putting the keybox in an area that requires someone know where it is (notes can be put in agent remarks of NWMLS listings).

2 thoughts on “Danger, Will Robinson… theft types for all to be aware of

  1. My brother built a home in northern Ohio and had to wait for his doors and windows to be installed to have the pipes and wiring installed due to copper theft. It’s out of hand. He stayed in the house while it was under contruction, too. It is a rural area and easy for anyone to get away with the crime.

    I would like to also add that last week when I was showing property the home owners had (which appeared to be serious health issues) their drugs on the counters in the kitchen. I looked to see what it was, some of it pain killers, anti depressants, etc. I was so shocked they had not been schooled about their prescription drugs. My buyers were an older couple and were floored that it would be an issue to guard your meds.

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