2 Charged in Attempted Abduction of Agent

August 31, 2020

Two men in North Ridgeville, Ohio, have been arrested and charged in connection with the attempted abduction of a female real estate agent at a home she was showing, police say. David J. Helton, 45, and Michael W.B. Evans, 37, have been charged with felony abduction and misdemeanor assault.

On Saturday, a 54-year-old female agent told police that two men stopped in front of a home for sale in North Ridgeville that she was getting ready to show. She had a brief conversation with the men, who asked for her business card. As the agent walked toward her car to retrieve a business card, one of the men allegedly grabbed the woman, according to police reports.

The woman told police that the men tried to pull her into their silver SUV, recalling that they said “get her in here” and “let’s go.” The agent was able to break free, run to her own car, and lock the doors. The two men then fled. Four days later, police arrested the suspects. The men are being held in Lorain County Jail, awaiting a court hearing on Thursday. The agent sustained bruises and cuts on her arm.

The incident is a reminder of the dangers real estate professionals face on the job. Real estate professionals are often isolated while showing homes, which can make them a prime target, Tammy Smith, manager at Russell Real Estate Services, told Cleveland 19 News. “Always use your gut feeling, and if it doesn’t feel right, it’s not right,” Smith said.

REALTOR® Safety Month, which is observed in September, kicks off this week with a monthlong awareness campaign about the dangers in real estate and reminders of precautions to take on the job.

2 Ohio Men Charged in Attempted Abduction of Female Real Estate Agent, Police Say,” Action News Jax/Cox Media Group (Aug. 27, 2020) and “2 Men Try Abducting Female REALTOR®, North Ridgeville Police Say,” Cleveland 19 News (Aug. 26, 2020)