A Surrey realtor and homeowner are warning other prospective sellers to be cautious following a brazen theft during an open house.
Curtis Hellofs decided to leave his surveillance camera on inside his home office so he could track how many people came to their first open house. Instead, he ended up recording a theft.
“She definitely knew what she was doing,” Hellofs said. “You can see her taking something out and putting it in her bag and turns out it was a bluetooth speaker.”
Hellofs said his wife’s perfume was also missing from their bedroom along with a pouch containing his son’s baby teeth.
“I wouldn’t have even noticed that this had happened probably for a couple of weeks if I didn’t have that video,” he said.
The open house attracted about 60 people. Given Metro Vancouver’s hot housing market, Hellof’s realtor, Tammy Evans, said the traffic is typical.
“I try to introduce myself to everybody, make sure I know whether they’ve come with a realtor or not,” Evans said. “Everything I can do to make sure that I know who’s going through the house.”
In this case, Evans said she saw the woman enter the home, but was busy with another prospective buyer. She said the woman didn’t look suspicious.
“In this case, somebody that looked very innocuous came through — looked like she’d just come back from a shopping trip or a yoga class and she managed to get her hands on several things,” Evans said.
This isn’t the first time an open house has been a target. During another open house in Surrey in April, a female real estate agent said she was assaulted.
Evans described the woman as Caucasian, about 5’6″ tall with blonde hair. She was wearing a blue shirt and jeans and had a shoulder bag.
Hellofs and Evans hope their story serves as a wake-up call for anyone selling their home — hiding your valuables during an open house might not be enough.
“It’s possible that things are happening and people aren’t realizing that something’s been lifted,” Evans said. “I’m going to be watching carefully for people that I wouldn’t normally be alarmed by. I’m going to be scrutinizing everybody.”