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A Rash Of House Thefts in the Lakes Region

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Posted 05-20-2012 at 10:51 AM by Roy Sanborn

There were 61 residential home sales in April 2012 in the communities in this Lakes Region real estate market report. The average sales price came in at $324,580 and the median price point at $170,000. While 61 sales might not seem like a lot, it is 33% better than the 46 sales last April and the average price is up from $317,714. Residential sales are up 23% year to date over the same period last year, so things are definitely looking up.

It looks as though the theft charges filed against a Gilford man will be dropped before the case can go to court. Fred Byer was charged with grand larceny in connection with the theft at the property located at 19 Mountain Ridge Drive in Meredith. It was alleged that Mr. Byer perpetrated the crime after visiting the residence sometime in mid March. Witnesses were to testify that he cased the place thoroughly and then some 51 days later returned and stole the entire residence for $350,000. That was $89,000 less than the asking price and $259,000 less than the current tax assessment which is criminal. It also appears that Mr. Byer was not acting alone.

The Meredith Police Department and the NH State Police were summoned to the scene by a passerby who noticed suspicious activity around the long vacant home. The perpetrator, who was caught red handed at the residence, appeared to be delirious and light headed from the high that accompanies these high stake robberies. Mr. Byer was cuffed and taken to LRGH for observation and released into custody later the same day. A back ground check revealed Mr. Byer had been a suspect in other similar robberies, so he was detained and then charged with the crime. Upon further investigation it was learned that Mr. Byer had the help of not only a local lending institution, but a title company, and two shifty looking real estate agents who appear to have received some compensation in connection with helping Mr. Byer pull this caper off. After extensive interrogation of Timothy Vault from the bank and Sharon Deeds from the title company (no one would have believed the real estate agents) it was determined that this was a new form of legalized grand larceny and all charges against Mr. Byer had to be dropped.

It appears that this was not just an isolated event. There has been an rash of house thefts in the Lakes Region as of late. It does not appear that the robberies are connected, but it does seem that the modus operandi is very similar. In each case the perpetrator literally walked away with thousands of dollars in instant equity. Here are the addresses of a few of the homes hit in this latest crime wave:

31 Johnson Street, Belmont, a 3 bedroom, 1,080 sq ft home on .49 acres stolen for $75,000 or 51% of the assessed value.

63 Sand Hill, Gilford, a four bedroom, 4,520 sq ft contemporary on 1.95 acres stolen for $257,500 or 58% of the assessment.

364 Black Brook Road, in Sanbornton, a three bedroom waterfront cottage on Winnisquam sold for $370,000 or 73% of the assessed value.

6 Old Bristol Road, New Hampton, an 1800s vintage, 4 bedroom, 3,900 sq ft colonial on 1.8 acres stolen for $315,000 or 80% of the assessment.

A neighborhood watch is being organized in several communities to help restore calm. All residents are requested to report anything unusual to local law enforcement officials.

While the names in this report have been changed to protect the innocent and the story a total fabrication, the sales results are real.

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