Open Houses Becoming Targets for Drug Addicts

They pose as potential buyers and steal prescription drugs

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Open houses in San Diego are becoming targets for drug abusers looking to get their hands on free prescription drugs.

Authorities and realtors there say they're posing as potential buyers and rummaging through cabinets stealing medications to feed their addictions.

Homeowner and real estate agent Don Gilmartin held a open house in Palm Springs Wednesday. So far, he says he hasn't seen that trend here in the valley, but for the first time he did notice someone who didn't seem like a potential buyer, scoping out the house.

"Just didn't look like a buyer of this caliber. So , you know having said that, I kind of questioned her a little about what she was doing here, and she really didn't have an answer, so she just scooted on and I made sure to lock the front door," Gilman said.

Sharon Rogers, President of the California Desert Association of Realtors said they haven't had any cases of this here in the valley.

"I've reached out to some members since hearing about (San Diego), and nobody has any knowledge of incidents here," Rogers said.

However, the association said their priority is to keep homeowners and their properties safe. Homeowners may be aware of storing away small items, they may not be aware their prescriptions could be target.
"We will communicate this to our members in fact we already have an email ready to go out," Rogers said.   

Gilmartin says as a homeowner its just a matter of being cautious, especially when it comes to medications.

"You do have to make sure that items in bathrooms are really secure, so its usually best to empty them out, put them in bags, and stash that kind of stuff away," he said.

As a realtor it's about keeping an open eye.

"You just gotta make sure that they're here for the reasons you want them to be here, and if not you gotta just kind of kindly guide them out," he added.

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