Sometimes Real Estate Agents Take Money from Homeowners the Old-Fashioned Way

My colleague Chad Syverson passed along the following news clipping, although as a native North Dakotan, he swears this sort of thing would never happen in North Dakota (only in Moorhead, Minnesota which is right across the state line):
Former Realtor ordered to pay fine for attempted theft

By Amy Dalrymple

The Forum – 06/10/2005

A former real estate agent pleaded guilty Thursday to attempting to steal nearly $800 from a freezer during an open house.

A Clay County District Court judge ordered Kathryn Grady-Thurston, 56, to pay a $500 fine and placed her on one year of unsupervised probation for gross misdemeanor attempted theft.

Grady-Thurston, 1361 5th St. N., Fargo, admitted in court she went to an open house on Feb. 6 in Moorhead and took a bag of cash out of a kitchen freezer.

She returned the money after another real estate agent caught her with the cash and told her to put it back, she testified.

“It was just basically a stupid impulse,” Grady-Thurston said, adding she’d never done anything like it before.

A felony charge was dismissed under a plea agreement. If Grady-Thurston completes her probation, the conviction will become a misdemeanor, said Clay County District Judge Galen Vaa.

“This is a strange incident, and I’m sure you thought many times (about) why you did what you did,” Vaa said.

Defense attorney Bruce Quick said Grady-Thurston did not wish to comment.

Quick said he did not know how Grady-Thurston was aware there was cash in the freezer, but he said it’s common for real estate agents to inspect appliances.

Grady-Thurston was fired from Metro Realty after the incident and her real estate licenses in Minnesota and North Dakota were canceled, real estate broker Dan Madsen said in April.

Grady-Thurston said in court she worked as a Realtor for more than 20 years.

According to court records and an interview with victim Steven Vigesaa:

Grady-Thurston looked at the home at 6201 Oakport St. N. before the open house, which was hosted by Kvamme Real Estate agent Darrin Wixo.

When she arrived at the open house, Grady-Thurston said she was waiting for clients, but they never arrived.

At some point she was in the kitchen with Wixo when he left the room to talk to prospective buyers.

Wixo told authorities he heard some noise in the kitchen and returned to find Grady-Thurston trying to hide something.

Vigesaa said his wife used the freezer as a hiding place.

Looking on the bright side, at least it wasn’t her own client she was stealing from. Isn’t a real estate agent supposed to extract as much as possible from the person on the other side of the deal? Maybe she just got carried away with esprit-de-corps.

The Mental Fitness Center

You guys are really stretching our minds and providing interesting info.

Glad you're bloggin' and good luck with this model.

You don't moonlight as Realtors, by any chance ?

Life's tough...blog hard !

3612

Real estate agents are not crooks, though they probably know more about home owners and their foibles than we'd like to admit. In the course of the career of an agent they're seen the inside of thousands of strangers' homes which would constitute an odd sort of "data set". They know how many kids we have, their ages, our level of education, our interests, all by just looking around, seeing the objects that define us.
They know the most likely places we hide our porn and cold cash... what they do with that knowledge determines whether or not they keep their real estate license and continue adding to the data set.

Anonymous

Speaking of real estate liscences, I'm curious whether the real estate commission took any disciplinary action. I just found out yesterday that of all the complaints filed against real estate brokers in North Dakota, not a single claim resulted in disciplinary action by the state's real estate commission. Good work guys!

jim

The most surprising part of this story is that the agent did in a time when RE agents are thriving. It'd be one thing if we were in a period of housing stagnation, but RE agents are making money hand over fist in some markets. It seems so petty.

Robert Schwartz

"Real estate agents are not crooks,"

You mean then that they are not human?

The real-estate Blog

Investment Opportunities Abound in Global Real Estate

Real estate is an increasingly important investment. Securitizations, more pro-active management and an abundance of investment vehicles with global scope have helped the profile of this asset class. Besides offering investors with competitive, high yi...

The Mental Fitness Center

You guys are really stretching our minds and providing interesting info.

Glad you're bloggin' and good luck with this model.

You don't moonlight as Realtors, by any chance ?

Life's tough...blog hard !

3612

Real estate agents are not crooks, though they probably know more about home owners and their foibles than we'd like to admit. In the course of the career of an agent they're seen the inside of thousands of strangers' homes which would constitute an odd sort of "data set". They know how many kids we have, their ages, our level of education, our interests, all by just looking around, seeing the objects that define us.
They know the most likely places we hide our porn and cold cash... what they do with that knowledge determines whether or not they keep their real estate license and continue adding to the data set.

Anonymous

Speaking of real estate liscences, I'm curious whether the real estate commission took any disciplinary action. I just found out yesterday that of all the complaints filed against real estate brokers in North Dakota, not a single claim resulted in disciplinary action by the state's real estate commission. Good work guys!

jim

The most surprising part of this story is that the agent did in a time when RE agents are thriving. It'd be one thing if we were in a period of housing stagnation, but RE agents are making money hand over fist in some markets. It seems so petty.

Robert Schwartz

"Real estate agents are not crooks,"

You mean then that they are not human?

The real-estate Blog

Investment Opportunities Abound in Global Real Estate

Real estate is an increasingly important investment. Securitizations, more pro-active management and an abundance of investment vehicles with global scope have helped the profile of this asset class. Besides offering investors with competitive, high yi...

Pam

She was my agent way back in 1995 and did some unethical things such as telling a prospective buyer exactly what they needed to offer us on order to break even on the deal. We ended up slid missing some jewelry but thought it was just lost in the move. Ya-probably not. Pretty sure it went right in her purse. She said the theft of that money was an impluse? I think she was stealing for years. She's a piece.