Burglars steal appliances from homes for sale in California

LIVERMORE, California -- There's been a surge in burglaries in Livermore, California but these suspects are specifically targeting homes that are up for sale and you'd be surprised at what is being stolen.

The burglars are specifically targeting homes for sale that have been staged and there is no forced entry. In December, they hit nine homes just in Livermore. "It appears they are using a cutting tool to cut the lock box and somehow defeating the key vault to get keys to the residence and enter the home," Livermore Police Department Lt. Joanna Johnson said.

Police say the suspects have taken electronics and televisions, but they are also stealing things like mini refrigerators and even picture frames off the walls. "I heard one house on Wood Street in Livermore they actually slept in the house, left smoke butts, stole televisions and appliances and things like that," Williams Tri-Valley Realty realtor Natalie Swanon said.

Swanson knows four agents who experienced the break-ins. Now, they're making sure they alert neighbors when a home is for sale and keep alarms activated even if the residents have moved out.

Police even suggest hiring a house sitter and scheduling viewings by appointment only. "We've heard about agents in other parts of Alameda County, so I think it's critical all homeowners have to be on guard for any kind of break in or criminal activity," Bay East Association of Realtors spokesperson David Stark said.

Livermore police say they are now processing fingerprints to track down the suspects.
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