When real estate agent and investor Beebe Stokes opened the door Wednesday to a little house she owns on Normandy road she was hoping to impress a potential buyer. Instead both were horrified by what they saw: Metal thieves had destroyed the kitchen and bath.
The thieves took all the appliances. They took the sinks the shower heads. They took the faucets and all the piping out of the wall. They tore open drywall to get copper pipes and even took the hot water heater.
"It's just sad," says Stokes. "I mean, first thing I was thinking was, who would do this? And secondly, what are they doing with this stuff and who are they selling it to?"
She called the Prince George's County police. And Friday, several officers, including a very busy detective who focuses solely on metal theft, responded to the scene of the crime. It's one of many.
"It's all over Prince George's County and it is a million dollar business," says Det. Andrea Sheehan.
Sheehan says she regularly works with scrap yards and most will report suspicious activity. In this case, she says she'll be asking scrap dealers if they can ID people who may have tried to sell Stokes stuff.
"I wish somebody would get 'em off the street because this is like the third property I have that this has happened to," Stokes says.