BAKERSFIELD - Local real estate agents say break-ins at homes for sale have been on the rise.
It's a problem that affects the homeowner, potential buyers, real estate agents, and insurance companies.
"Whatever thieves see a for sale sign, it's like a beacon for them to commit the crime," said Michael McCracken, real estate agent.
Appliance thefts were very common during the foreclosure boom, but the crime continues to occur.
"It's not even just vacant homes. We're finding this happening in occupied homes as well. The home is for sale, owners aren't there, people break into them steal appliances and other valuables," said Theresa Olson, Bakersfield Association of Realtors president.
Police say the best thing for realtors to do is to let neighbors know a home is vacant and ask them to report suspicious activity.
The ongoing crime is gotten so bad that many real estate agents are thinking twice before putting up the for sale sign.
"That's one of the things people decide not to do with 90% of people starting their search online nowadays. The sign is still a great way, but we talk to many of our owners and ask if it's worth it," said McCracken.
Real estate agents say the crimes usually occur after an open house, or a vendor is hired to work on the property.
"Over the last couple years we've been trying to fight the crime, fight the fraud. It's a gamble. Their going in there stealing things and reselling them," said Olson.
Are there "For Sale" signs in your neighborhood? Talk to Mark Christian about it on Facebook: facebook.com/MarkChristian23ABC .
Get assistance before open enrollment closes
Several live bands provided the noise inside the Plaza del Pueblo in the Mercado Latino Sunday. But off to the side of the plaza a line was…
VIDEO: Fire destroys Rosamond apartment unit
A fire early Saturday morning consumed an apartment unit in Rosamond.
CSU Bakersfield helps safely dispose of E-Waste
Over the weekend, Cal State University Bakersfield helped residents clean up the city by hosting a recycling clinic for electronic waste …
Kern County Bridal Expo brings out local vendors
The Kern County Bridal Expo is expected to bring out hundreds of brides and more than 70 local vendors, Sunday morning.