I started noticing damages to the homes when the foreclosures really started to increase in numbers. I started to gain a client base that was interested in looking 'only at foreclosures'. I noticed mls pics with all appliances and then when I show the home, it's stripped and sometimes damaged, as well.
Simply put - damaging a home because one can't afford the mortgage just isn't the solution. We're all aware that emotions during this time are heightened but again, this doesn't solve anything. It's actually a 'criminal' act.
The federal agencies are starting to crack down on the defaulting parties that damage the properties before exiting. They will go after suspecting looters, they are aware that some try to sell the heist on craigs list or e-bay, A for sale sign in the front yard is not an invitation to help yourselves.
If you see someone hauling away a toilet, stove or other household equipment, knowing the home is in foreclosure or financial distress, call the local authorities and alert them of the suspected activity.
p.s. They watch Realtors activity too.
It protects us all, in the end.