Real estate agents targeted by a man not interested in homes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Real estate agents targeted by a man not interested in homes

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

October 22, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A man who investigators say posed as a home buyer and made sexual advances on female real estate agents, has pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.

Four real estate agents complained to the Albany Board of Realtors. They contacted the Dougherty County Sheriff's office who set up a sting to catch 43-year old David Edge in the act.

Using a Real Estate Book that included pictures of the agents, Investigators say David Edge found his victims. He called them, saying he was interested in homes over 350-thousand dollars in Lee County. When they arrived to show him the homes, that's when he would strike.

Investigators say 43 year old David Edge used a tough real estate market to his advantage. Using a real estate book to target attractive female real estate agents, he told them he was only interested in homes $350,000 and above, but those agents would soon learn Edge had other motives.

"From what we gathered he wasn't actually looking for a house, not from what we could find," said Captain Miles O'Quinn, Lee County Sheriff's office.

During the home tours agents told investigators instead of being interested in the homes, he was more interested in them.

"The real estate agent would meet him, during the course of showing the house the offender would make sexual innuendos, inappropriate comments and such like that," said O'Quinn.

Investigators say David Edge went as far as using the sprayer to spray several of the agents and then offering to dry them off. Real estate agents say there are ways to protect themselves from someone like Edge who may just be looking to take advantage of the situation, like parking on the street not in a drive way where they could become blocked in.

"One of the most important things is having your client come to the office and establishing the relationship before going to the property," said Mary Linda Cotten, Walden & Kirkland Realtor.

Agents are trained to have the clients walk in front of them while showing them a house. In this case it might have prevented Edge from using a camera phone to snap pictures of the women as they climbed the steps. Investigators say with four reports from four agents they wanted to confront Edge about his actions before advances turned into something more.

"To put a stop to it before someone did get hurt," said O'Quinn.

Wednesday investigators say what ultimately concerned them about the situation was a call one of the real estate agents made to Edge's home. His wife told the agent the couple wasn't in the market for a house nor could they afford a $350,000 home.

Tuesday, Edge pleaded no contest to four counts of disorderly conduct. He was fined and ordered not to have any contact with the agents or any other real estate agencies.

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