ENTERPRISE, Ala. (WDHN) — An Enterprise man is facing charges for first-degree attempted theft of property after trying to list a home for sale that belonged to someone else.
The Enterprise Police Department started an investigation after being contacted by the victim who told officers their home was listed for sale, and they were not the ones to list it.
“We received a complaint or the initial complaint from the victim this month,” Lt. Bill Haglund said. “What I can tell you is the victim reported to us that he saw his house for sale listed online.”
Tony Glen Grimes put the victim’s house on the market in late February. He was taken to the Coffee County jail and placed under a $150,000 bond, and when asked how many times he’s seen something like this, Haglund said he hasn’t seen a crime like this before.
“Me personally, I have never seen it,” Haglund said. “I don’t know how prevalent this type of thing is, but I have personally never seen it, so I’m sure it happens, I just, I’m not aware of it.”
One real estate agent explained to me that they see it most in rentals and explained how they try to avoid having something like this happen to them.
“One of the most common scams we see is someone taking our information and posting it on Craig’s List,” said Susan Vierkandt with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Showcase Properties. “We make sure that we’ve pulled a copy of the deed and have the owners information, or we actually get the seller’s contact information and so forth.”
Vierkandt said if you are planning to sell or rent property, the best thing to do is work with an agent face to face.
“When you deal with a property management company, they’re going to check your credit; they’re going to verify your references,” Vierkandt said. “So, when somebody doesn’t do all that stuff, sometimes that’s very attractive. They’re not going to do all that stuff. They just want your money.”
Vierkandt said there’s no way to really stop this from happening, you just have to be careful who you give money to.