Working in the Real Estate Industry in Tehama County can prove to be very interesting at the least!. We all deal with today’s real estate market, being full of REO properties ie, Bank Owned properties and listings from out of the area agent that are working with the REO companies. In saying that, let me take you thru an adventure that I recently went on while previewing properties for an out of town client. When I preview properties I always take someone along as a buddy, since being a woman in Real Estate, it is never smart to go alone to vacant properties. So off we went to preview a property. This property was a property with acreage and there were several outbuildings on the property. We arrived at the property, which was a listing that is an out of the area agent. Searching for the location of the lock box discovered that it was hanging on a door located at the back of the house. I was approaching the lock box when my friend went to another door on the back of the house, she yelled at me and said “this door is opened!”. I grumbled about the fact that some agents do not make sure that doors are locked after showings. We entered the home looked around as usual and then proceeded outside to see the other buildings. I was trailing behind my friend, as we ventured back to the barn behind the house, when she opened the barn doors was surprised to find that there was a vehicle parked in the barn. She was a little startled, since the property was vacant and you do not expect to find anything. We concluded that maybe the previous owners abandoned the vehicle and went about previewing the property. We went back inside the house to close things up and discovered that the door that was left opened had been “kicked in”. I immediately called the agent and informed her about the door and the inability to lock it up due to the damage from the vandals. After leaving the property and talking to the client about the property features, we began to wonder about the vehicle. My client wanted me to return to the property and take pictures of the outbuildings, so off we went again the next day to take the pictures. We entered the barn again to take more pictures of the building and discovered that the vehicle had been damaged, windows broken, hood off, parts missing. Becoming more and more suspicious about this vehicle, I decided to try to take a picture of the VIN number. When we went around front and were looking at the VIN number we noticed that there were stickers on the windshield. Saying to each other “oh, my gosh, this is a stolen vehicle. We quickly finished up and left the property. Of course our next visit was to the local police station to report what we found. I have a friend that works and the police station, I was recalling the details of our adventure, when she said, I think that we need to rename you guys “starsky and hutch”, my friend replied no those were guys and we are girls, so said how about “Cagney and Lacy”, we laughed and said that is too funny!!!!! We then followed the officers back out to the property and had been told that it was in fact a stolen vehicle. Was stolen about 3 weeks prior from a local used car lot. So we were hero’s that day and did our good Samaritan duty, cudo’s to “Cagney and Lacy” .
In all seriousness, this is what this story really brings to the table. As REALTORS in Tehama County and other counties around. We need to be aware of the crimes that are taking place everyday and always be aware of our surroundings. If you normally work alone, bring a buddy along with you. When we were talking to the officers about the incident and giving him the details about our buddy system, he brought to our attention this. Someone COULD have been in the barn when we discovered the vehicle, so when we discovered that the door to the house had been kicked in, we should not have entered and should have immediately called the police department. They would have come out and investigated. The officer, whom I know then said, I quote “We would rather come out and discover that everything is clear, than get a call that you have been harmed”. He said that if they (the suspects) would have been there, they would not have cared about us, more about their not getting put in jail. He said that things could have been much worse, so he made us promise to always call when we see anything suspicious. So, again, always remember to think about safety first.
As the economy gets worse, crime will go up. We know that there will be a lot more foreclosures hit the market, so always be aware!