Addicts are posing as home buyers and cleaning out medicine cabinets in homes for sale, according to recent police reports.

It's commonplace – more common than you think, Detective Dennis Luken, vice president for the Ohio chapter of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. It's everywhere.

In one recent case, a man showed up to an open house and while the real estate agent was distracted with other customers he went through the home owner’s medicine cabinet. The agent overheard the man going through the drawers, and he was later questioned by police officers. He admitted that he went to the house looking for pain pills and that he learned the trick from peers at a drug treatment program.

Authorities say some criminals also copy information off the home owner's prescription label and then call to have the drug refilled so they can pick it up later.

Carol Woodard, chair of the Cleveland Area Board of REALTORS®, says she advises clients who have a house on the market to have a filing cabinet or locked drawers to stow away any medicine, personal records, credit cards, mail, and any identifying information on their children.

Source: “Addicts Pose as Homebuyers, then Nab Prescription Drugs From Houses That Are Up for Sale,” Cleveland Plain Dealer (Jan. 31, 2011)