Thieves steal from shore homes

January 16, 2008 3:31:18 PM PST
Thieves are striking in the shore homes and stealing a high-tech favorite. All too often vacation homes that are mostly vacant in the winter at the shore are targets of thieves. This year, the police say the item of choice for those thieves appears to be the flat screen TV.

"This one particular family asked if the unit was going to have TVs, because they noticed there were TVs on our rental website," Bill McGinn of Remax Real Estate said.

However, there weren't any in the house; this is because they were stolen.

Bill McGinn is a real estate agent in Sea Isle City where at least ten flat screen TVs have been taken from rental properties since September. One house lost five of them. Sea isle is not alone, as Ocean City reports a rash of the stolen televisions as well.

"We've had about twenty of our plasma TVs stolen from properties in town," Lt. Jay Prettyman of the Ocean City Police Department said.

Lt. Prettyman believes the burglaries take place during the daylight hours by people using keys. Police say between real estate offices and contractors there are a lot of house keys on the loose.

"None of these cases involve forced entry. It seems to us that they have a key or access to the property, which isn't unique in a town such as ours, where you have a large rental population," Lt. Prettyman said.

Some local residents told Action News they are concerned about the crime but not surprised.

"It is upsetting, because we never had this. I don't know why it's happening," renter Margie Nelson said.

"I think it's a different breed of people coming to or living on the island," renter Bonnie Cacciacarne said.

Police and realtors say it's a good idea to check your vacation home or have someone check it for you.