Real estate agent helps catch prescription drug thief posing as potential home buyer

By: Parrish Alleman Email
By: Parrish Alleman Email

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Wichita, Kan. -- A Wichita real estate agent catches a man raiding the medicine cabinets during an open house and police say the same guy has been doing the same thing all over town.

Police say the man arrested today on west Pawnee is responsible for at least two similar incidents in the last few months.

Lorie Touchatt tells us she had just opened up her open house in the 10200 block of west Pawnee when a man came to the door that set off warning bells.

She tells us that recently the Wichita Area Association of Realtors sent out a warning about a man that was going to open houses and searching for prescription drugs. Just last week, her co-worker had a run-in with that man and gave her a description of what he looked like and how he acted.

“Conversations he was having with the realtor and questions he would ask and mannerisms and this gentleman fit that to a T,” Touchatt said.

Touchatt was alone in the house with the man, so she pretended like nothing was wrong.

“You just never know how people are going to react when backed into a corner so I didn't want to question him. I was just scared to death,” Touchatt said.

She kept calm and texted her husband and the homeowner, asking them to call 911.

When a 911 operator called her, she kept playing it cool. She answered their questions with a yes or no and pretended like she was talking to a potential home buyer.

“I did ask him if he was prequalified for a home loan, I tried to talk to him like a normal client,” Touchatt said.

Touchatt's plan worked. When the man finally left, police were already in the area and pulled him over just a block away. They found a bottle of prescription narcotics on him they say he took from the home.

“It's irritating, you can't trust anybody,” the homeowner Jesse Soria said.

“I was very scared but I surprised myself at remaining calm,” Touchatt said.

Police haven't released the man's name yet but they did say he was arrested in 2010 for doing the same thing, stealing prescription narcotics during an open house.

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