Action 9

Law enforcement says watch out for homebuyers stealing painkillers during showings

CHARLOTTE, NC — Federal and state law enforcement agents say the opioid crisis is so bad, some homebuyers are stealing painkillers from people's homes during showings and open houses.

"They are that desperate for meds.  And it shows you, it can be anybody.  It can be anybody," SBI Special Agent in Charge John Keane told Action 9.

So, he and others in the justice system -- like DEA Agent Chris Fletcher and N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein -- are urging real estate agents to take certain steps: locking up meds before showings, keeping an eye on buyers, and checking their IDs before they look around.

"Do not leave them in your medicine cabinet because people will steal them, abuse them, or sell them," Stein said.

Realtor Susan Freshcorn agrees.  "A drug user is going to do whatever it takes to get drugs that day," she said.  Her son, Ben, struggled with addiction and died in December.  He was 37 years old.  "I can't even begin to tell you how much I miss him," she said.  "He was my only son.  My only child."