Good news, bad news. The good is that we FINALLY have the surveillance video from the Open House that was robbed this past Sunday. The bad news is that they aren’t nearly as clear as we had hoped but they are good enough to alert the industry and the public to this duo of thieves who have apparently hit at least (probably more) 5 open houses since October 21st. Note the brunette fixing her wig in the elevator. My agent who caught them in the act is almost certain that the brunette is a man in drag. The blonde was a bit smarter than her partner as she was careful to not show too much of her face on the video. She seems to be a real woman too.
Here are the pics and they are being circulated around my industry and to the public in an effort to thwart any future robberies and possibly capture these dregs.
The duo together entering the elevator.
The adjustment of the WIG!
Entering the building
Best pic of the blond.
We are still reviewing more images but this is a start. As we capture more images and are able to "clean them up" and perhaps enlarge them we will post as available.
To my colleagues and the public,
First and foremost, it appears that this couple has pulled this off numerous times over the past month. Having said that, this is by no means a reason to be overly anxious or suspicious as most of those I have spoken to in the industry have never heard of this happening before. I’m not a detective at all but it appears that this is an isolated incident of serial robbers taking advantage of the open house market. Open houses remain one of the primary sources for buyers and i will at NO TIME suggest that people discontinue having them. They remain the most powerful tool to sell most apartments!
I am suggesting that all of us be a bit more diligent about keeping our eyes on those that attend our open houses and that sellers LOCK UP valuables such as cameras, iPods, cell phones, jewelry, medication, credit cards and other small "stashable" items of value. For a great list of what homeowners should do to prepare and protect themselves, visit my colleague Peter Comitini’s blog.
Here’s to these thieves being captured!
UPDATE: If you recognize these women call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. All calls are anonymous.
UPDATE: Not just caught on camera but "caught" as in apprehended! On Saturday, 11/24 the duo was apprehended and charged.