Tales from the Trenches : Theft


A colleague recently posted in our realtor group about something that happened to their client who just purchased their home this summer...

Someone stole their central air conditioning unit! Cut the wires & hauled it away from the side of their house!

And they don't know exactly when it happened, because who's checking the air conditioning unit outside once it's turned off for the season?! Not me, that's for sure!

The more you know, the more you can protect yourself - share what you know & help protect others too!


Here's what I learned from the 55 responses in that thread that made me think that this was a good PSA to share:

Their insurance company is asking for proof that there was an air conditioning unit in the first place - specifically service records & the purchase receipt. They've only lived there since the summer so they don't have those things & the sellers/previous owners probably don't either, because why would you keep them when you don't own the property any more?! The MLS®  listing & Home Inspection report both refer to there being a central air conditioning unit, but that doesn't seem to be enough "proof" for the insurance company in this particular case.

Apparently this is a fairly common occurrence in the US - they even make cages to put over the units that are then bolted to the cement slab. And we've all heard the stories about thefts at construction sites all over the province, but now they are becoming more prevalent in our developed residential neighbourhoods as well. In the course of this online thread there were incidences reported in a Hamilton neighbourhood this summer & in a "small Ontario town" this past winter. The original incident that prompted this post was in the Warden & St Clair area of Toronto, last week!

Building materials, copper wire, mechanical systems...everything is fair game these days! I even heard recently about all the (installed) plumbing being cut out of a vacant house, how crazy is that????

So what can we take away from this situation & others like it?

Check your property on a regular basis, take pictures of all your stuff, write down serial numbers, keep records of repairs & purchases, if you have the means, install cameras or monitoring systems.

If you're purchasing a home, it's a good practice to have pictures & serial numbers of big ticket items that are supposed to be included in the sale, in case the sellers decide to swap them out for something else - yes this does happen!

Put away your valuables for showings & open houses because yup, that can be a problem too! :(

If it feels like there's a new scam to worry about every day, you're not alone! And it can feel very heavy at times, as we add new things to the already long list of things we have to watch out for...All we can do is the best we can, with the information we've got, & try to stay focused on the good stuff!

Stay aware, stay safe & enjoy the ride my friends!

Until next time,

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