SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — When a Realtor holds an “open house,” it means come in and look around.
It doesn’t mean take stuff.
But that is exactly what three people did in Orange County.
The trio would go to open houses. The male would allegedly distract the realtor and the other two, both females, would clean house. And not with detergent.
Homeowners in Anaheim, San Clemente and Ladera Ranch lost about $20,000 worth of jewelry and other items during the capers.
KCAL9’s Stacey Butler reported from Ladera Ranch and says the thieves are behind bars.
The three, all residents of Los Angeles, were identified as Nino Siganoff, 33; Valerie Siganoff, 36; and Barbara Adams, 29.
Police believe the trio was involved in open house burglaries for months.
Butler spoke to a Realtor who says their arrests are a wake-up call.
“I think what the thieves are looking for is opportunity, ” said Realtor Darleen Centala, “because we are so complacent. We think we’re in a safe neighborhood, and we don’t have to worry about it. So they take advantage of that.”
Centala heard about an open house burglary last month in Ladera Ranch. That homeowner alerted the public to her ordeal by posting the story on social media.
The homeowner warned people having open houses to hide their money and valuables. And she also posted a picture of the car she said belonged to the people she suspected ripped her off.
Centala said she’s never had a problem with open house burglaries.
“When we take a listing,” she said, “we always make sure that we tell people – you need to put your valuables away so that somebody can’t take them. And you also want to hide your prescription drugs. Those are the things people are looking for.”
She also asks that potential clients knock before they enter.
“I lock the door,” Centala says, “it’s my policy.”
Anyone who believes they were victimized by the trio or was a victim of a similar scheme is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.