La Jolla Robberies Reinforce Danger for Agents

A string of high profile robberies at multi-million dollar estates in La Jolla have raised Realtors’ alarms when dealing with unknown buyers.

The San Diego Union Tribune has one such story. Please click here for the full story.

Last week, according to police, a female agent had just wrapped up a showing when a man ordered her to re-enter the home and asked where the jewelry was.

The robber took jewelry and fur coats, the victim said, before encountering the 76-year-old property owner who was just getting home. The robber shot a gun at the ground, and the homeowner was grazed by shrapnel.

When North County real estate agent James Baxter heard the news, he was floored.

“I was surprised,” said Baxter, who’s been in the business since 2007. “My initial response was … ‘Is nothing sacred anymore?’ ”

Like many agents, Baxter has encountered his share of unexpected events during showings — from suspicious-looking people to fierce dogs. A recent survey from the National Association of Realtors shows 67 percent of Realtors in the nation have experienced some kind of safety concern or issue while on the job.

“But robbery at gunpoint?” he said. “That’s a rarity in the business. We hear about … people coming into open houses to steal out of dressers…”

News of the La Jolla home robbery comes on the heels of reported break-ins at vacant home listings across the county, information that came from an advisory sent out by the trade group San Diego Association of Realtors.

Based on the advisory, the incidents happened in San Carlos, College, and the city of La Mesa in July. These incidents involved intruders who gained access to homes by breaking into lockboxes and getting the house keys. Something was taken from at least from one listing: a fridge, according to one report.

Be careful out there agents.