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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Stripped

posted by on October 1 at 14:24 PM

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Seattle Police are investigating a bizarre burglary in Maple Leaf after a foreclosed home was stripped bare just days before it was auctioned off.

On September 17th, a Seattle man called police to tell them that the home he’d purchased a home in the 8800 block of 5th Avenue NE “sight unseen.” Three days after the sale, the man went to the house and discovered that the toilets, sinks, piping, cabinets, appliances, marble counter tops, furnace, two gas fireplaces, light switches, floor boards, front door and even the house’s cedar fence had been removed.

The buyer told them police he’d been by the house several days before the sale and and didn’t see anything missing.

Neighbors told police that a week before the auction, a work crew showed up and spent three days gutting the house.

The police report estimates as much as $200,000 worth of damage was done to the home.

According to King County records, the house sold for around $400,000 in 2006.

RSS icon Comments

1

That robbery was certainly a bold move.

Posted by Levislade | October 1, 2008 2:31 PM
2

Bold, making your points when you have none.

Sight unseen? Well why would you go and do something like that?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 1, 2008 2:33 PM
3

Jonah, honey, that post is riddled with typos...

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | October 1, 2008 2:54 PM
4

Isn't this the plot from the movie "Moving" with Richard Pryor?

Posted by sleestak | October 1, 2008 3:00 PM
5

I thought everybody was gutting their houses before the bank took them back. Isn't that one of the reasons they want a bailout?

Posted by elenchos | October 1, 2008 3:11 PM
6

I think it's fairly common to buy houses sight unseen if you're buying foreclosures at auction. That's what all those "real estate riches" creeps on the infomercials teach you to do.

The obvious place to look is the guy who got foreclosed, but if he's got half a brain he isn't keeping the stuff where he's staying. Even if they find it, it'll cost a fortune to get it all put back together again. Pipes? Jeez.

Posted by Fnarf | October 1, 2008 3:32 PM
7

which is why the price of house at auction carry the information of inherent risk of being fubar.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 1, 2008 3:45 PM
8

Wow! I live near this house - it's across the street from my bus stop. I notice the fence gone at about that time, Sept 17th, and I wondered about the house. It had sold once after they had ripped out a short hedge and put in the fence, and to see the fence gone again was... odd. (There are still main supports for the fence up, but just concrete and a single cedar 4x4, no slats or crossbeams.) I thought it would have had something to do with simply not liking the fence. But this is sorta crazy. I checked the yard at one point and there are bits of wiring sticking up out of the yard in a few places, so they were pretty thorough.

Posted by STJA | October 1, 2008 3:57 PM
9

if the theft took place before the sale was finalized, doesn't that invalidate the terms of the sale?

Posted by infrequent | October 1, 2008 4:04 PM
10

Some cowboy contractor has found a way to reduce his supply costs for remodels to zero.

Posted by inkweary | October 1, 2008 4:07 PM
11

Maple Leaf ain't the safe haven it once was. Wow.

Posted by Mr. X | October 1, 2008 4:29 PM
12

This is getting to be a problem. I work for City Light, and have noticed an increase in empty houses getting stripped of copper lately.

Where it gets beyond damaging and becomes downright dangerous is when they strip the copper out of the meter base, thus making it possible for anyone to happen along and stick their fingers into an energized meter base. That never ends well.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | October 1, 2008 4:41 PM
13

@12 - I've also heard of several incidents around the country where copper thieves have taken gas lines, resulting in explosions.

Posted by STJA | October 1, 2008 4:47 PM
14

Gas lines are generally made of wrought iron or steel. But maybe people are stealing those also. You'd have to be really, really, REALLY dumb to do that. Not to mention a non-smoker ;-)

People are also stealing copper water pipes, resulting in catastrophic damage, wasted water, and expense for ratepayers.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | October 1, 2008 4:55 PM
15

Lmao, using copper for gas pipes.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 1, 2008 5:02 PM
16

@11,

Hey - you stole my handle AND observed that I had belittled the meta-impact of the shooting we had up here in peaceful Maple Leaf on another SLOG thread the other day. Geez, are you stalking me, or what?

We've already had two crimes in my white-bread neighborhood (one of which is apparently being treated as a justifiable homicide/self-defense case, since the SPD seems to have released the shooter on his own recognizance), so let's don't make that two/three!

Posted by The actual Mr. X | October 2, 2008 12:19 AM
17
hed purchased a home in the 8800 block of 5th Avenue NE sight unseen [...] hed been by the house several days before the sale and and didnt see anything missing.
Do I need more caffeine, or does this make absolutely no sense?
Posted by Furcifer | October 2, 2008 11:54 AM

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