METRO VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Local realtors are worried about a man whose actions they’re calling suspicious. The man is asking female realtors to meet him alone.
The man is apparently emailing and phoning the women to ask to meet him one-on-one. Things become really strange when the agent asks if they can bring someone with them, and the man responds in an agitated way.
“When they either suggest they want to bring somebody with them or you show up to say, a coffee shop, with a second person — he gets upset and angry. So, obviously, he has some reasoning behind wanting to meet with these ladies directly,” said Ashley Smith, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.
“It sounds like he has some strategy behind meeting female realtors. What he’s trying to do is have them meet with him privately … he is getting frustrated or upset if you suggest you want somebody else there.”
Coquitlam RCMP say they’ve received two reports from local realtors about a suspicious phone call in which a man asked them to meet him alone. The incidents happened April 12 and 17, police say, and the realtors in both cases followed their instincts and didn’t meet with the man.
Smith notes the board is not only issuing the warning to agents — but members of the public, too.
“There is a suspicious person out there. [People should] always be making sure that they take safety precautions — especially for our industry. We do have a lot of perhaps individual meetings or showing appointments or open houses, where you might be in a property alone.”
Ashley Smith speaks for the board & says it's been happening over the last few weeks in different municipalities. She's reminding realtors to bring someone with them to showings and/or to check in with people you know over the phone before & after a showing. #vanre #bchousing
— Ria Renouf (@riarenouf) April 23, 2019
Smith says reports have come from several cities across Metro Vancouver. “We can’t confirm that this is necessarily the same person, but it sounds like it very well may be.”
She’s urging anyone who experiences any strange activity to report it to police.
“Make sure people know where you are. Perhaps have a bit of a time limit and connect with people before and after your appointments. Ideally, have a buddy with you — especially if you’re meeting somebody you’re not familiar with.”
It just strikes fear
Meanwhile, the father of a realtor who was murdered 11 years ago in a home in Saanich after being lured into what police called a “complex trap,” says the situation “strikes fear” into him.
“She was, of course, a realtor in Victoria and was called up to show a home to a couple that was being transferred to Victoria and was brutally stabbed to death, left dead on the floor of the master bedroom of the home with over 40 stab wounds,” adds Lindsay Buziak’s dad Jeff Buziak.
He says anytime a realtor is working with a client they are not familiar with, the client should be asked to come into the office first or ensure someone is with them on any initial showings.
“I think what’s going on in the Greater Vancouver area right now should have a high priority for police,” Buziak adds. “There should be a task force set up immediately and I see no reason why phone numbers can’t be traced and located via GPS.”
Smith says longtime realtors still remember that case.
“It’s something that comes up every now and then, when cases like this arise. It’s an unfortunate circumstance, but it does serve as a reminder for our members to always be safe.”
– With files from Martin MacMahon and CityNews