An open house can be an opportunity for drug-related crime. According to WFAA.com, real estate agent Kyle Rovinsky learned first hand after showing a high-end home in Frisco. He claims a woman deliberately distracted him, while her boyfriend raided the medicine cabinet.
He said, "At that particular house, it was a bottle of Vicodin, and it was a full bottle. I think there were 30 pills in it. It created all kind of problems for the homeowner, because they had to go get the prescription refilled." Kyle claims to be a little bit nervous about the liability of this new crime.
Real estate agents are attending more seminars to learn how to protect the home seller. Kyle said, "It used to be jewelry we would tell the home sellers to hide- now it's drugs." Real estate agents say these thieves pretend to be homebuyers, but then head straight to the master bedroom to rummage through drawers. Drugs of choice for these thieves are prescription pain pills, anti-depressants, and Ritalin. Kyle warns all the home sellers now to hide all their prescriptions bottles.
Recovering addict Michael Fowler says this type of crime is more common than one might think. He said, "Kind of 'Sunday paper' shopping…see what open houses are in rich communities. That's what my friends used to do. They would look in the paper to see which homes to raid for medicine." The value of pain pills have risen on the street, which also may have led to an increase in these crimes.
Amara Durham, who works for a nonprofit rehabilitation and treatment center, said, "That means if you have someone who's been prescribed Oxycontin, and they are taking the pill four times a day-40 milligrams- one bottle has a street value of almost $5,000." She also claims the face of drug addiction has changed, and this is an epidemic. She said, "When we think of a drug addict, we think of someone in a dark alley, addicted to heroin with a needle in their arm- but that's not the only case."
In the new face of addiction, even real estate agents need to be cautious. Some realtors even ask open house visitors to show them a driver's license before they can tour the home. Kyle said, "Some people think it's rude, but I even ask other real estate agents to attend my open house to have an extra set of eyes. Because when you have a distraction, it takes just a few minutes to wipe out someone's medicine cabinet."
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