Real estate agent Kyle Rovinsky learned that first-hand after showing a high-end home in Frisco. He said a woman deliberately distracted him while her boyfriend raided the medicine cabinet.
“At that particular house, it was a bottle of Vicodin, and it was a full bottle,” Rovinsky said. “I think there were 30 pills in it. It created all kind of problems for the homeowner, because they had to go get the prescription refilled.”
Real estate agents say the thieves pretend to be homebuyers and head straight to the master bedroom to rummage through drawers. The drugs of choice include prescription-strength pain pills, anti-depressants and Ritalin.
We talked to recovering addict Michael Fowler, who said this type of crime is more common than you might think.
“Kind of ‘Sunday paper’ shopping… see what open houses are in rich communities,” Fowler said. “That’s what my friends used to do. They would look in the paper to see which homes to raid for medicine.”
The value of pain pills on the street is another reason open houses are becoming prime targets for drug thieves.
Amara Durham with Caron Texas, a non-profit rehabilitation and treatment center, said drug addicts and drug pushers stand to gain.
“That means if you have someone who’s been prescribed Oxycontin, and they are taking a pill four times a day – 40 milligrams – one bottle has a street value of almost $5,000,” Durham said.
She said this is an epidemic, and the face of addiction has changed.
“When we think of a drug addict, we think of someone in a dark alley, addicted to heroin with a needle in their arm – but that’s not the only case,” Durham said.