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Ferndale police warn about targeted lockboxes in recent home break-ins

Posted at 6:31 PM, Oct 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-01 18:31:57-04

We have a neighborhood crime alert. Ferndale Police say they are working to find out who is targeting houses with lockboxes. 

Someone is breaking into them and stealing things in a life-threatening way. 

It happened a couple of weeks ago and then again on Monday in Ferndale. Thieves busted into houses with lockboxes. 

We spoke to one victim on FaceTime. He found out on the day his realtor was supposed to have an open house. 

“One of the agent's assistants went through the home and said you are missing a stove, furnace, tv, water heater, and central air,” said Aaron Trent. 

The thieves even damaged his natural gas system, which could have been dangerous for him and his neighbors.  

The ordeal of repairing the damage and replacing what was taken is a huge blow for Trent.  He wonders if it could have been prevented.  

“The lockbox is gone, with no indication bolt cutters were used against the door, because it was flush against the door,” said Trent. 

He wonders if thieves somehow obtained access to the code on his box.  

His realtor told him and 7 Action News it is industry practice for realtors to use the same code again and again. 

“I am not a realtor, but if we use the same code for every house that is not a good idea. One disgruntled employee could cause a lot of damage for people,” said Sgt. Baron Brown of the Ferndale Police Department. 

Brown says people selling their houses should ask their realtors if their code is unique to their house. 

He says in the other case it appears the lockbox was busted open. 

He suggests people who have vacant houses listed for sale ask neighbors to report any suspicious activity right away.