GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- The Guilford County Sheriff's Office is warning homeowners to take precautions against theft from contractors, plumbers, and delivery drivers.
Master Cpl. Seals said Monday the office has seen a number of recent reports listing repair workers as possible suspects over the past few months.
“All it takes is five quick minutes, seconds, for the homeowner to leave the room and someone picks something up off a dresser or a nightstand and puts it in their pocket and the victim doesn’t know until the next day or maybe even the next week afterwards,” he said.
Seals urged homeowners to do research on their own before making a hire. Once someone is in the house, he said owners should watch the work being done when possible.
He also suggested that homeowners keep a list of their valuables, including serial numbers and photographs just in case of a theft.
Finally, use cameras to document the work being done. Seals said it can be helpful to set up a deer camera on homes still being built.
"We've actually had crews come in and steal big pallets of shingles for roofs in the middle of the night. The more we have to work with we're better off to solve the crime. If we have people walking on the ground or a vehicle coming in, the more we have to work with the better off we are." he said.
Homeowners say they look online for reviews, but say the best option is going with someone recommended by someone they trust.
“My main thing I would say is get someone you’ve heard of, friends, neighbors, who you’ve seen their work," Yfke Van Der Meer said. "Don’t go with the first quote you get or the cheapest quote, because cheapest doesn’t mean it’s quality work or reputable work.”