Agent Aids Police in Drug Bust at Open House

November 13, 2013

A Wichita real estate agent helped police arrest a man who was allegedly raiding medicine cabinets during open houses in the area. 

Lori Touchatt, a real estate professional in the area, had recalled an alert the Wichita Area Association of REALTORS® had just issued, warning real estate agents about a man in the area who had been stealing prescription drugs during open houses. 

Touchatt said she had suspicions when the man entered because his questions were those similar to those described by a coworker who had recently had a run-in with the suspect at an open house. 

“You just never know how people are going to react when backed into a corner, so I didn't want to question him. I was just scared to death,” Touchatt told KAKE-TV.

She tried to talk to the man like a normal client to avoid alerting him that she was suspicious. For example, she asked him if he was prequalified for a home loan.

She then sent a text to her husband and the home owner asking them to call 911. When the 911 operator called her, Touchatt pretended to be talking to a potential buyer, responding to questions with “yes” and “no.” 

Shortly after the man left the house, the police arrested him. They found a bottle of prescription narcotics on him that belonged in the house Touchatt was showing. 

Police say the man was arrested in 2010 on charges of stealing prescription narcotics during an open house. 

Source: “Wichita Realtor helps catch drug thief during open house,” The Topeka Capital-Journal (Nov. 11, 2013) and “Real Estate Agent Helps Catch Prescription Drug Thief Posing as Potential Home Buyer,” KAKE-TV (Nov. 10, 2013) 

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