LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Criminals are reportedly targeting realtors, and real estate associations aren't taking it lightly.
Realtors are often alone, in neighbors they're not familiar with, to meet people they may not know. So while this warning comes after reports of thefts, police and realtor leaders are taking the opportunity to use this as another safety reminder.
The Little Rock Realtors Association sent this message to realtors:
We are continuing to receive reports of a group of individuals stopping in real estate offices and open houses. These individuals have been inquiring about alarm systems, if you view property alone, unlocking windows after viewing the property, and we even have a report of a members belongings being stolen while they were in their office to name a few. Please be aware of your surroundings and remember you realtor safety policy. If you encounter anything unusual contact your local authorities.”
Several days later, the Arkansas Realtors Association posted this message to Facebook:
“Realtor Friends- ALERT AND PLEASE SHARE!
There have been multiple thefts and attempts of theft of Arkansas REALTORS this week.
Two youngish ladies are coming into real estate offices, asking questions like, "Do you show property alone?", distracting agents by requesting water, asking for property lists, etc.
In two separate cases they stole the agents wallet out of her purse and racked up credit card charges and taking all their cash. This happened just this week in NLR, Conway and Batesville. Please help get the word out NOW! Share!!!!!”
Since these warnings, Sgt. Keith Wilson with Sherwood Police offered extra patrol to any realtors.
"Officers have already stopped by at open houses so knowing that and seeing that post, it was like this is just something we need to do, especially after the Beverly Carter murder, we don’t want anything to happen to our realtors," said Sgt. Wilson.
Since Arkansas Real Estate Agent Beverly Carter was murdered in 2014, many offices created their own safety protocol often encouraging realtors to have someone with them at an open house at all times.
"If you’re going to meet a stranger, for us, we will take another agent," said realtor April Findlay.