by: Richard Elliot Updated:
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A DeKalb County realtor got a scare Saturday when she surprised two copper thieves inside the home she planned to show to a client.
Dianne Dougherty said she entered the Tucker house when she heard strange noises coming from the basement. When she went around to the back of the house, she spotted the two thieves making their getaway.
"Real quickly, two guys ran out," said Dougherty. "They hopped in their truck, and I'm yelling at them, but then the thought crossed my mind, maybe they have guns."
This wasn't Dougherty's first encounter with crime inside a home-for-sale. She said in 2009, armed men ambushed her and her realtor husband Mike, then forced them inside a home they had just sold.
After they dragged them into the home, they pistol whipped the both of them before running away. Later, they discovered the men had kidnapped a woman and had her tied up in the back of the house.
"We put up a fight, but they nonetheless got Mike in there after they knocked me over the head," said Dougherty. "Pistol whipped him pretty bad."
Dougherty warns other realtors to be careful when showing a house and to always let people know when and where they are showing them.
DeKalb Board of Realtors President Darryl Pierce said safety is always part of the training for new agents.
"If you're going to show a property, call someone," said Pierce. "Let them know when you're going and where you're going. September is Realtor Safety Month, and they're going to feature an app that will send you a text message. If you don't respond to that text message two times, then it will alert your emergency contacts."