Thief Nabbed in Short Sale Home Burglary

LAS VEGAS -- An open garage is only the beginning of the wreckage inside a ransacked short sale.

Metro Police caught the thief but thousands of dollars in appliances were destroyed.

Officers said it is a growing crime throughout the Las Vegas valley and difficult to prosecute.

Homeowner Bobbie Wood said someone pretending to be a contractor made multiple trips to the house and took nearly everything and damaged the home's interior.

"I think he was trying to get it to sell because he wasn't even trying to take care of it," Wood said. "He was just throwing it in the back of the truck."

Wood's husband, Richard, said this is years of work down the drain and said the feeling is unimaginable.

"Violated, actually," Richard Wood said. "You just feel like somebody just strips you naked."

According to Metro Police, crimes like this are part of a growing trend across the valley.

Authorities don't have exact numbers because the crime is hard to prosecute and although police were able to track down the Woods, it is difficult to find many of the owners.

They are the ones who can verify the thief is not a legitimate contractor.

"A neighbor saw appliances being thrown into the back of a truck ... and called police," Richard Wood said.

Metro officers said neighbors who see something strange in a foreclosed home should call police.

But with record numbers of short sales throughout the valley, officers said it's always important to keep a watchful eye.

Items taken from the home included door handles, fixtures and copper wiring.

The owners said the burglar also stole their pool pump and other pool equipment.

No word yet on what they'll be able to salvage, but they said the best advice is to have neighbors watch over a short sale or foreclosed home.


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