Authorities say a Chandler couple posed as real estate agents not so they could get inside homes and show them, but burglarize them instead. Now, they are seeing the inside of a jailhouse.
Deanna Gaw, 40, and John Gaw 43, were arrested on suspicion of burglary-related offenses Tuesday in Pinal County’s Saddlebrooke community moments after they were greeted by homeowners who suspected something suspicious involving a scheduled “showing” of their home.
Earlier in the week, Deanna Gaw — posing as an agent named “Carol Porter” — had called the homeowner and told her that she had clients who wanted to see the house, but asked the woman to leave the home while she showed it, according to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.
When the homeowner called her own real estate agent to inform her of the showing, her agent told her that Carol Porter was not listed as a licensed realtor in the Chandler area, according to PCSO.
Suspicious of what their agent told them, the couple stayed home. The Gaw’s showed up at the residence at 2:30, surprised to discover that someone was home and apologized for arriving at the house when someone was present, according to the sheriff’s office.
The Gaws told the homeowners they would return later and drove off in a dark-colored SUV with Nevada license plates. Based on the way the Gaws acted and the way they were dressed, the homeowners called the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office and the homeowners learned that a number of elderly homeowners also had called police earlier that morning to report a possible scam involving a real estate agent Carol Porter.
A sheriff’s deputy discovered the Gaws traveling in the SUV along Saddlebrooke Boulevard and initiated a traffic stop before apprehending them.
John Gaw, who is a licensed real estate agent, identified himself as such, told the deputy they were in the area looking for homes to buy, however, the deputy noticed a number of items in the car such as handbags, clothes and also discovered he had jewelry in his pockets, a lock pick and latex gloves, according to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.
“You got me,” John Gaw told the deputy, according to PCSO.
The couple then admitted to taking items from other homes that morning, according to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.
The Gaws were booked into the Pinal County Detention Center.
Authorities have identified three elderly homeowners were victims of the scam, according to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.
The status of John Gaw’s real estate license was listed as inactive in the Arizona Department of Real Estate’s database, and did not list any open complaints against him.
The database also reflected that Gaw’s association with the last firm he was working for was severed on Thursday.
If anyone else believes they were victims of this scam, they can call the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office at (520) 866-5111.
Photo: Deanna Gaw, 40; John Gaw, 43