INDIANAPOLIS, Ind- There’s a lot of money that goes into flipping a home, and for one couple, replacing stolen items has become just another cost of doing business.
"This is where the A/C unit would normally sit," said Robyn Landon as she showed off the hole in the ground next to her home, along with a loose chain and cut wires.
It's become an all too common sight for Landon and her husband. They own L2 Acquisitions and make a living rehabbing houses in the Indy area. Right now, they're working on about 9 properties.
“It's been going really well," Landon said. "Most of our houses are sold within the first weekend of hitting the market.”
The Landon's gut their homes and redo them from scratch, but on top of the rehab cost, there’s now a new cost added to their business model.
Despite securing it with concrete and a chain, someone found a way to steal the entire a/c unit on a house currently on the market. It’s the third time this has happened at one of their properties in the past three months.
“We’re redoing these houses, we want to help make these neighborhoods nicer, and people are taking advantage,” Landon said.
One of their homes that were about to be sold was hit the hardest over Labor Day weekend. Burglars broke in and stole the furnace, water heater, fridge, and even the stove.
“It’s not just the equipment," Landon said. "It’s the equipment and the labor that went into installing it, and now you have to pay for the equipment and the labor that goes into installing it (again).”
According to police reports, that same weekend at least 5 other homes in the same area were hit with people attempting to steal valuable appliances. Some of the homes were also listed for sale or were vacant.
“When these houses are on the market, your buyer is buying not only that property, but they also need a sense of security," Landon said. "When we’re in the middle of a sale and they found out the house has been robbed, then they have to figure out whether or not it’s something they have to move forward with.”
Now Landon has installed security systems at all her homes, and even puts up trail cameras nearby. She's hoping the next time, thieves will think twice before targeting their homes.
“Obviously you don't plan on being robbed," Landon said. "But lesson learned and now we’ll better protect our items and businesses in the future.”
Police say if you have investment properties it’s a good idea to install alarms and exterior lights and ask neighbors to keep a lookout. You can also request extra patrols or hire private security.