In what should serve as a stark reminder to secure any valuables before conducting an open house, a Maryland woman is on her way to prison for one year after she visited open houses posing as a potential buyer and stole jewelry from the homes’ owners.
According to a report from ABC News, Sally Spaisman will spend the next year in jail and the next five years on probation after she was found guilty of stealing more than $82,000 worth of jewelry from approximately 12 homes in the Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Potomac areas of Maryland.
According to local authorities, Spaisman, 58, would search the internet for expensive homes that were on the market, show up at the open houses pretending to be a buyer and use her free reign of the house to steal expensive jewelry from the owners.
From the ABC News report:
Ramon Korionoff of the State's Attorney's Office says the case resonated widely because "anyone who has had to sell their home or property has a visceral reaction to this kind of crime."
"Because you open up your home. You trust Realtors and prospective home buyers to honor your home and not steal anything from you," Korionoff told ABC News today. "And that's a violation of that trust. And I think a lot of people can relate to that situation."
One victim told the local ABC affiliate that Spaisman stole three items from his $1.1 million home, including a gold bracelet he inherited from his parents.
"It was a piece that I meant to give to my daughter and now I'm not going to be able to,” Carlos Bonilla said. “When these things hit the resale market after a theft, they just get melted down for scrap."