Government officials confirm that the tactic is one way the medications are making it to the black market.
"Stealing drugs from open houses is indeed a technique drug thieves use to obtain controlled substance prescription drugs," said Barbara Carreno of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Thieves Work in Pairs
Lida Alikhani of ABC News reported that the problem has been a growing one in the San Diego area, but it has also spread across the country as prescription drug addiction has risen to epidemic proportions.
The thieves will go to an advertised open house in pairs. While one of them distracts the Realtor, the other goes to the medicine cabinet and looks for painkillers, ADHD medication, anti-anxiety drugs or muscle relaxants.
For years, real estate agents have warned sellers to secure their jewelry, electronics, money and other valuables before putting their home on the market, now they are forced to suggest locking up their medications too.