Rx Drug Thieves Target Open Houses

By Ben Feuerherd 02/01/13

Thieves posing as potential buyers are stealing prescriptions from homes, the DEA warns.

Realtors are urging home sellers to be
extra cautious.
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Prescription drug thieves in San Diego have been targeting unsuspecting home sellers, says the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). During open houses, thieves will reportedly pose as potential home buyers and clean out the medicine cabinets of homeowners when realtors' backs are turned. “Stealing drugs from open houses is indeed a technique drug thieves use to obtain controlled substance prescription drugs,” Barbara Carreno, of the DEA, tells ABC News. The problem is becoming more widespread, with the DEA noting that drugs are increasingly showing up on the black-market this way. Most commonly reported stolen products include: painkillers, ADHD medicine, and muscle relaxants like Xanax, says Carreno. Realtors in the San Diego area say the thieves are clever and convincing. “A lot of times the realtor is alone in the house and the bad guys will go in pairs,” says Kevin Burke, who is on the board of directors of the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors. “One will engage with the agent as the other goes through the house.” Local realtors are now urging home sellers to be particularly cautious. “The take away here is common sense,” says realtor Anthony Manolatos. “When an agent is showing your home and you’re not there, take your valuables with you or lock them in a safe.”

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Benjamin Feuerherd is a city reporter at the New York Post. He has previously worked for The Daily Beast and NBC. You can find him on Linkedin and Twitter