A suspicious man has been going around to homes in the North Platte area pretending to be a realtor.
Monday afternoon, around 2:20 p.m. an officer from North Platte Police Department responded to a report of a suspicious person on West Third.
The suspicious man was described as heavy set and driving a "white sedan." He was asking the home owner questions about the house and asking if he could go inside the house. He was not allowed in the house, but took a picture of the home before leaving.
A similar report was called in Tuesday morning on West 'B' street. This suspicious man was described as a white male, 5'5"-5'6", around 250 pounds, no facial hair but perhaps wearing a black toupee, no glasses, wearing tan khaki pants and white button up shirt with stripes. He was not seen driving a car.
The suspect in this report identified himself as a local realtor and asked questions about the owner's home. He said he wanted to conduct an assessment of the home, and was there to assess the property.
The Lincoln County Sheriff's Department has recently investigated incidents similar to these two. At this time they do not know how many people are involved. The suspect, or suspects, have been seen driving a "black SUV with no front license plate", a "blue" or dark colored vehicle, a "white sedan" and a "white, older, rusted Oldsmobile."
Officers did confirm that the local realty company that the suspect identified with, has no connection with the suspicious man. A realtor will always properly identify themselves, will often call before their visit and will conduct a market analysis-- not an assessment.
There have been no arrests at this time, but if anyone has any information please contact NPPD at 308-535-6789. Anonymous information can also be given by calling 308-534-8400 or online at www.lincolncountycrimestoppers.com.
UPDATE: While investigating the suspicious man incidents in North Platte, NPPD has run across several craigslist postings for a property preservation and inspection company. The ad looks like:
'Property reservation and inspection company looking for field inspectors to verify occupancy and property condition status of homes in the following counties.'
'Complete various inspections to verify if occupied or vacant and property condition. While at the property completing your visual inspection (most of the time) you will fill out a form pertaining to the property description (Ex. 1 story, frame house, 1 car detached garage), the occupancy status and to the exterior condition of the property, also any damages present and the neighborhood condition.'
'Most of the orders only take a few minutes to complete. There are usually a group of orders in an area to complete at one time. No mileage reimbursement is given, orders are paid on a per order basis. Pay is direct deposit every two weeks.'
'Some inspections require a walk-around inspection of vacant properties. Some vacant properties require interior inspections and photos. Some inspections require a door hanger to be filled out and placed on the door. Inspectors job is to complete a 60 second occupancy form and take a few photos of the property and submit results with photos to an online website.'
The police department doesn't know that the suspicious man activity is related to this, but they want to let everyone know that there are reasons for people to be asking about houses and taking pictures of them.
NPPD still wants people to report suspicious activity, but just be aware of the possibility of an above-board reason for certain people's actions.