Stoves being stolen out of newly renovated homes

West Virginia

KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – A common appliance is going missing from residential job sites. It’s an unusual situation and one that seasoned realtors have never seen before. They’re finding that when they list a newly renovated property, days later the kitchen stoves are gone.

Josh McGrath with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate says they became aware of this scenario around August of this year. “For whatever reason the stove has become a hot commodity and we’re seeing this happen across Kanawha, Putnam, even into Ohio,” he said.

McGrath talked with other real estate companies and found they were also having the same problem and there could be up to 50 stolen stoves at this point. McGrath says they are breaking lock boxes to get into these homes. “It just seems to be that when the properties are listed and they’re listed on Zillow, the folks are able to see that the house is vacant,” he said.

Realtors say one of the easiest ways to prevent this from happening is by purchasing a Ring door bell or other home surveillance devices. In fact, that’s how they caught one of the most recent culprits. “It’s usually within 24 hours to 72 hours of the property hitting the market, the person gained access to the house using one of those coded lock boxes like I had mentioned and came in through the back and when he walked into the kitchen, he realized there was a camera recording him, and so he immediately turned around and left,” McGrath says describing a recent scenario.

When the suspect left, the police were able to catch him and bring him into custody. He says he wanted to share his story so everyone can be on the lookout for these unusual situations.

“It’s a time to be vigilant and make sure that we take precautions to protect their property especially for folks that put a ton of money into making sure those homes are renovated and making sure they have nice appliances.”

Josh McGrath, CEO Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Central

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