Police Catch 1 Of 2 People Believed To Steal From Open Houses


Police arrested one of the two burglars Wednesday who were accused of stealing from realtor’s Open Houses.

 Realtors were able to catch the thieves in the act by taking pictures of their license plates after they noticed suspicious activity, 10TV’s Kevin Landers reported.

Police arrested Crystal Galloway, of Richwood.

“It's a couple who come in, he distracts the agent and she takes off and goes through the house,” said realtor Louise Potter.

Police said one of them would stuff her pockets with jewelry while the other kept the realtor busy with questions about the house.

“In open houses you think you have secured your jewelry by putting it in a different drawer instead of leaving it on top of the dresser, but the suspects look for it they know where to look for things,” said Columbus Police Detective Brian Lacy.

For several weeks police said the couple went from one Open House to another.

“Hilliard, Worthington, possibly Bexley and obviously Columbus they may have hit farther than that," Lacy said.

Word spread during the first theft and realtors began to take cell phone pictures of the cars and license plates of people they showed homes, Landers reported.

“Some of them did take some photos and the information they gave us was really, really helpful,” Lacy said.

Police believed as many as four to five homes were burglarized.

Realtors said thefts during open houses are a rare event, but this case had them warning home sellers and their agents to be on the lookout for anyone suspicious.

“One of the things that I do recommend is walk with the couple try to keep people together going through an open house,” Potter.

During all of the thefts, the couple and the agent were the only ones in the home, Landers reported.

The real estate agents were all veterans and police say that helped, because they knew something was going on and it needed to be stopped.

Galloway, 36, was charged with burglary. Officers in the Strategic Response Bureau are still looking for her alleged accomplice.

Stay with 10TV News and 10TV.com for more information.