Realtor surprises burglar while showing home

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:15

    WARWICK-There may be one more good reason to list your house with a local real estate agency. On Thursday evening, July 22, Warwick Realtor Bill Wendel, a licensed agent with Mystic Valley Real Estate, was showing a large colonial home to his prospective buyers, a man and his wife. The owner of the house was away at the time and Wendel had gained entrance using his electronic key to open a lock box where the house key was stored. Licensed agents who are members of the Orange County Multiple Listing Service are authorized to use this system. The usual procedure is to first make an appointment with the listing agent who then contacts the owner and also advises the selling agent if the owner has any special instructions. But on this particular evening, someone else had used another method to enter the home. "We had been in the house for about five minutes," said Wendel. "My clients were looking at the downstairs area when the lady reported that she heard a noise upstairs. Her husband and I went to investigate and she followed." At first they saw nothing unusual but when the woman opened the second walk-in closet in the master bedroom, everyone was surprised including a 16-year-old boy who was hiding there. "I think we scared him as much as he scared us," said Wendel. The youngster, who quickly left the house, said he was a friend of the owner's son. Wendel, however, thought this was unusual behavior for a "friend" and he also noticed that another youth was waiting outside. When the owner subsequently discovered that jewelry was missing, the State Police arrested the youngster. The youth, who Wendel identified, confessed and was charged with criminal trespass. He was released on an appearance ticket pending a hearing at the Town of Warwick Court.