Why We should ALWAYS Escort our Clients at Showings!
I thought I would repost since the buyers market is picking up some!
I was on Google and this story came up in my search! I thought I would share it with all of you!
Thank you Fort Worth Star-Telegram for sharing the story!
Former teacher, minister arrested in Frisco theft 'not your usual suspect,' police say
Steven Breed has been described as a gifted elementary school teacher and a grandfatherlike minister.
But the Allen man is also suspected by several area law enforcement officials of being one of the most dauntless jewel thieves in North Texas.
The method has been simple: Instead of breaking into houses, he poses as a home buyer and gets a real estate agent to take him in, area police said.
But court documents, acquaintances and area Realtors accuse the divorced father of three of being much more than a sneak thief: They describe the 53-year-old as a con man whose life has been driven by a gambling habit.
It's an obsession so powerful that just days after his recent arrest in Frisco on suspicion of stealing jewelry, Breed may have been at it again. Police believe that Breed, using an alias, called a Realtor in Allen, asking to be shown a house for sale
Mr. Breed is not your usual suspect," Highland Park Detective Marty Nevil said Thursday. "His story is shocking to most people due to the number of years he has been operating under the same modus operandi and the length at which he is willing to corroborate a good story to complete his mission."
Breed could not be reached for comment.
Police say the Allen man is the prime suspect in numerous thefts in North Texas, including one in April in Highland Park in which more than $20,000 in jewelry was stolen. Stolen items included an 18-karat gold necklace valued at $4,500 and an 18-karat gold bracelet with ruby, emerald and sapphire stones valued at $15,000. He hasn't been arrested in connection with that case.
The list of law enforcement agencies with reports on Breed includes Fort Worth, Plano, Highland Park, Allen, Frisco and Melissa, and it grows every week.
"Each week, I get about 10 phone calls from investigators, pastors of churches or Realtors asking about him," said Nevil, who began an investigation on Breed in May. "I've gotten calls from as far away as Muskogee, Okla."
Breed's resume shows that he attended the University of Houston and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. He received a master's degree in religious education in May 1985, the seminary confirmed.
Breed and his wife and children lived in Oklahoma before moving back to Texas a few years ago. His wife, Terri, filed for divorce after 31 years of marriage, and it was finalized in January.
Terri Breed said that she never believed the family was having financial problems but that she began to trust her ex-husband less and less in the last few years. She said she found out during the divorce that he had been gambling.
"We had good jobs. He was a teacher, and I was a teacher," she said. "But at the end, I couldn't trust him anymore. I'm not trying to bad-mouth him, but things just didn't add up."
He was hired as the children's minister at First Baptist Church of Allen in 2004 and released a few months later. A church official said he couldn't discuss why Breed left.
He was hired as an elementary teacher in the Frisco school district in August 2005, working there until January 2008, according to school records. Information was not available Thursday on why he left.
"He was a good teacher," said Michelle Bartels of Frisco, whose daughter had Breed as a fourth-grade teacher. "He was like a grandfather figure. He was a little heavyset, but he was well-dressed and clean-cut."
But some parents said Breed began asking them for money, ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, to pay his bills. Those parents said Breed was released from the district after he was told to stop but didn't.
Terri Breed says he wasn't truthful about what had happened.
"He had some health problems, and he told me that his doctor told him not to go to work," she said.
"I didn't find out the truth until a few months after he lost his job."
Terri Breed said she then heard he had lost his job at the church because he had asked members for money. "I was worried," she said.
Steven Breed was also the subject of a lawsuit in Muskogee, Okla., area police said. Records on the case were not available Thursday. He filed for bankruptcy in 2005, but it was dismissed in 2006.
Last year, Breed was accused of stealing a wallet from a Realtor in Melissa, north of McKinney, after walking into a model home and telling her that he had inherited $250,000 to $300,000 and wanted to buy a home, according to police records. That case is pending.
Breed was sentenced to five years' probation in April 2009 in Collin County after pleading guilty to credit card abuse. That charge stemmed from the theft of a wallet from another Realtor who was showing him a house in Lucas, east of Allen.
Breed was also ordered to pay almost $800 in restitution, a $500 fine and $300 in court costs, and he had to attend anti-theft classes.
For months now, area Realtors have sent out e-mails warning employees of a man stealing wallets and jewelry throughout North Texas as he's shown a home. Once inside, the man excuses himself from the Realtor and walks alone around the house, police said.
On July 5, Debbie Hunn of Williams Trew Real Estate Services in Fort Worth said she got a call from a man who identified himself as Steven Breed, wanting to see a house that wasn't vacant.
"I found it strange that he wanted to view a house that was occupied," Hunn said. "Once I checked on him, I found out who he was and we canceled the appointment."
Last week, Frisco police arrested Breed minutes after a Realtor showed him a home. Police were waiting outside after the Realtor tipped them off. He's accused of stealing $1,500 in jewelry.
He was released from the Collin County Jail after posting $1,500 bail Saturday, according to jail records.
Area police said they weren't able to file additional charges at that time, so his bond was low.
"I'm embarrassed," Terri Breed said. "And humiliated."