Retired realtor may have targeted clients during break-ins
The Elk Rapids Police Department reports that the 74-year-old woman who was arrested last week on breaking and entering charges in Antrim County is a retired real estate agent. They say her former job might have played a roll in the homes she targeted.
Chief Thomas Emerson says he can't attribute all of the victims as former clients of Ann Wilson's, but that there are a handful who say they are.
"Right now we determined that a few homes she went in were clients of hers during her prior employment which would suspect us to believe that she was familiar with the homes," said Chief Emerson.
A former colleague to Wilson reports that she was a well known real estate agent in the area for more than 20 years. He says that after some "abnormal and inappropriate" behavior with former clients that she was asked to voluntarily retire in September 2013.
The same colleague says he doesn't believe Wilson's actions were malicious, and that he hopes she gets whatever help she needs.
Elk Rapids Police have been investigating Wilson for the last three weeks after they started receiving complaints about a woman who was going into people's homes and in some cases stealing small items. Police say that if someone answered the door, or if she was caught inside the home, she would tell a story about looking for a missing dog.
"Most of the reasons she was giving was either she was looking for a dog that ran out in front of her car and went into the house and she was worried about the safety of the animal or she was just looking for animals that possibly were missing," said Chief Emerson.
Wilson is suspected in several breaking and entering in Antrim, Leelanau, and Grand Traverse counties.
A Grand Traverse County woman who asked to remain anonymous had two encounters with Wilson at her home. She says the first happened about a year ago.
"She had driven up my driveway and had gotten out of her car and I happened to be out working on the deck and she just struck up a conversation saying she had shown my house before and how much she liked my house and was I getting any bites on someone buying the house. And we chatted for a little while. I thought it was slightly strange but didn't think too much of it and she left."
A few months ago the same woman saw Wilson at her home again. This time she found her inside.
"I was home by myself on a Saturday working in an upstairs bedroom and had the TV on and then noticed a different sound. I could hear someone saying,"Hello? Hello?" So I walked out of the bedroom and she was on the second level of my house in the middle of my living room. And I was really kind of taken back but I recognized her so I wasn't terribly startled and she asked me, "Do you have a dog? I just saw a German Shepherd run right in front of my car and I almost hit it and I thought maybe it was your dog." And I said "No, I don't have a dog." And I thought it was very very strange and kind of just tried to politely get her out of my house."
In a search of her home Tuesday, stolen property was recovered. They are still searching for other stolen items.
"She's going to walk into the wrong house, we're looking out for her safety too," said Chief Emerson. "It could be a potentially dangerous situation for everybody."
Wilson was released from the Antrim County Jail on Tuesday on a $150,000 bond. She has not been arraigned yet.
If you have any information about this situation or think you were a victim, you are being asked to contact your local Sheriff's or Police Department.