Realtor-Gate in Haverford (Lower Merion)

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carla's picture
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Police: Dead animals dumped in Main Line dispute
Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer

Last updated: Thursday, June 27, 2013, 4:39 PM
Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2013, 12:36 PM

This is one wildlife video that probably won't turn up on Animal Planet anytime soon.

Police in Lower Merion say a security camera captured footage of two upscale Main Line real estate agents tossing dead mice and snakes onto the yard of their next-door neighbor's $1 million home on Booth Lane – all part of an alleged plot to sabotage its sale, because their house is also on the market.

Jonathan and Andrea Straub, who sell multi-million dollar homes for Prudential Fox & Roach, were also caught on video cutting branches off trees, knocking over "For Sale" signs and otherwise vandalizing the property, according to police, who cited them for disorderly conduct and harassment.

The Straubs' own home, a three-bedroom stucco with marble baths and a pool, was also listed for $1 million.

A Booth Lane neighbor, Regina Hunt, another high-end real estate agent, said the driveways of the two properties were right next to each other....Anthony List Jr., who said he was the Straubs' attorney, called the charges against them "absurd" and said they never threw dead animals on the property. There are dead mice and garden snakes all over the place, he said.

"This is spun out of control and is just absurd. This is a minor dispute with the caretaker guy," he said.

The tiff was over the "For Sale" signs, which he said may have violated township code...."Isn't there better things going on in the news than neighbors removing real estate signs?" he asked, adding that Jonathan Straub only sells houses part-time and has a bottle packaging business.

Another lawyer for the couple, John List, Anthony's uncle, said the people on the video aren't recognizable and that the Straubs never admitted any wrongdoing to police.

"We're going to court" to fight the charges, he said....Meanwhile, the Straubs' particular brand of salesmanship can't be good for business at Prudential's Haverford Station office where they worked. Office Manager Judy Getson seemed on edge after all the publicity.

"Is their license with Prudential Fox & Roach? Yes. I'm not going to say anything else. This conversation is over," she said before hanging up.

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File under: CRAZY

How do you choose a Realtor? By the amount of dead mice they might leave on a neighboring listing's lawn? Wonder what they do for mischief night, huh? OMG can you imagine Mr. Rogers saying "hello neighbor" here?

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I know a couple realtors in that office who are lovely people. But oh my, these realtors? Perhaps not so much. And OMG they were caught on tape like TMZ celeb-u-tarts and between June 25th and June 27th they first admit it was them as per what the LMPD are quoted as saying and now they will fight the charges?

OMG so Colonel Mustard in the Library only very, very tacky. So glad the Main Line is keeping it's stellar reputation, right? I dub thee Realtor-gate.

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It started with an article in Bryn Mawr Patch the other day:

Couple Plants Dead Animals to Sabotage Neighbor's Home Sale, Police Say
The defendants' home is on the market too, according to police. Oh, and they're both realtors.

Posted by Tom Sunnergren (Editor), June 25, 2013 at 03:58 pm

A Haverford couple was cited for disorderly conduct on Thursday after Lower Merion Police say they threw dead animals in their next-door neighbors' yard in an apparent attempt to sabotage the sale of their Booth Lane home.

The couple that was charged, Andrea and Jonathan Straub, are both realtors in the area and have their home on the market as well, according to police....security cameras were then installed in the home, which clearly showed the Straubs, aged 40 and 34, kicking over the signs, placing dead mice and snakes in the driveway, cutting branches from trees, and otherwise damaging the property....the Straubs, after they were confronted by police, just shrugged and confessed to the vandalism.

"They said they thought the signs were tacky,"

Then came the Main Line Media News version :

Haverford couple cited for throwing dead animals on neighbor's driveway

Published: Wednesday, June 26, 2013
By Richard Ilgenfritz

Lower Merion police cited a Haverford couple who live on the 100 block of Booth Ln. in Haverford with disorderly conduct after police say they were confronted with surveillance tape footage showing the two knocking down “for sale” signs and throwing dead animals on their neighbor’s property. Police received the report June 20 at 4:27 p.m.

According to police, the married couple, a 40-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman were given citations for harassment and disorderly conduct.....Police added that the couple who have been charged are realtors and they are selling their house. Police say the couple admitted to knocking down the signs because, “They were tacky.” They also admitted to damaging the property and throwing the mice and a dead snake on the property, police said.

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Hugh Gordon's picture
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I'm puzzled by Main Line Times's policy of omitting the names of the perps from the police reports.  This is public information.    Also irritated by the way each item begins with "Police got a report of..."

The Straubs:  Gracious living on the Main Line.

By the way, did you see retiring Haverford School  Headmaster Cox's farewell letter printed in the Main Line Times the week of June 2?  

I am thankful, too, for the many neighbors who have endured the daily inconveniences that go with having schools as neighbors.  Playground and event noises and the transit of hundreds of cars and buses through our common streets sometimes try the patience of even the most understanding neighbors.  Most of our neighbors recognize the give and take of choosing to live near a school and have worked with us to find mutually satisfactory solutions to the everyday problems caused by institutional intrusions; however, some wear their opposition to any school related initiative as a badge of honor.  I would ask them to consider the salaries that our faculties and staff spend and the local vendors we support when calculating the cost of having schools as neighbors. . . .

Evidently someone who never troubled to look into what was bothering the neighbors whose driveways and streets were blocked by inconsiderate students and parents; where his faculty bought their groceries seems kinds of irrelevant.

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hamncheez's picture
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People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Reminds me of the Three Stooges pest control.  Except the Stooges used live pest not dead pest.  Where did they get the dead pest to throw?  Typically snakes come in the home/basement when mice numbers are high inside the home.

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carla's picture
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Re: Dr. Cox- he was no Mr. Chips that is for sure. And he specialized in the irrelevant - once he wrote a letter in response to complaints about parking issues where he talked about scholarship kids- like they were the ones with the $50K imports blocking neighbors driveways

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"Well behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

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