Thieves caught stealing major appliances from empty homes
Hundreds of vacant homes around the Valley are more than a result of the foreclosure crisis -- they're also a prime target for thieves.Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Hundreds of vacant homes around the Valley are more than a result of the foreclosure crisis, they're also a prime target for thieves.
Thieves can get quick cash by ripping out and selling the major appliances inside those vacant homes.
Criminals are trolling neighborhoods and raking in thousands of dollars.
"The homes are ready for rent or to occupy and they have appliances in them, a lot of metal. They have AC units," said Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Detective Tom Reisselmann.
Washing machines, dryers, stoves and refrigerators are just some of the stolen items Detective Reisselmann and his team have recovered in the past month.
Investigators say "For Sale" and "For Rent" signs are sometimes an invitation for trouble.
A call from a local construction contractor tipped police off to four men who were arrested for breaking in to unoccupied homes and stealing appliances.
Those items can then be sold for hundreds of dollars on websites like Craigslist and Ebay.
In some cases, they're even sold to local businesses or to scrap yards for the valuable metal inside.
Police warn property owners to be aware and protect their investment.
"Check on it periodically. Pay for security. Pay for some sort of surveillance equipment. Pay for somebody to keep an eye on the house. Try to rent it," suggests Detective Reisselmann. "Do whatever's necessary to protect your assets."
Police say this crime is happening all across the valley. Officers urge anyone who sees suspicious activity to report it.