TRUCKEE (CBS13) — A woman is wanted for posing as a real estate agent and using that cover to break into people’s homes.
Truckee police say 32-year-old Lindsay Sowell from Palm Desert, isn’t a real estate agent but is pretending to be. She is now facing three felony burglary charges, accused of breaking into homes in the Tahoe-Donner area and stealing from properties listed for sale.
One of her alleged victims is Truckee real estate agent Val Videgain. He says Sowell broke into one of his properties while the homeowner was there.
“The owner said, ‘What are you doing here?’ And she said, ‘Well I’m a real estate agent,'” said Videgain.
He says Sowell broke into two of his properties, stealing items from one of his homes for sale and squatting at another.
“She is acting out some kind of fantasy it seems to me,” he said.
He calls it unusual for someone to stalk out listings, wait for the property to be empty, and use a tool to break open the lockboxes. He says he’s still not sure how she managed to manually break open the lockboxes to get the key.
“They seem almost bullet-proof, but maybe they’re not,” he said.
Long-time neighbors are surprised to hear of such a brazen crime.
Ted Nishihria in Truckee said, “We come here once a month. I don’t feel comfortable about it.”
Vidigain says the area is now known as a “Zoom town” where many people are buying or renting property to work or do distance learning from home.
“Over the past four or five months we’ve just blown up in real estate,” he said.
He thinks that may be why this “fake agent” is here targeting the town.
“I hope they catch up with her, so they can give her some help,” he said.
There is a felony warrant out for Sowell. Investigators say Sowell is known to frequent the Tahoe-Donner area and is driving a silver or gray Volkswagen sedan.