LIBERTY, TWP., Ohio -- Homebuilders and realtors are warning their employees to be extra careful on the job after a worker was attacked in broad daylight during a model home showing in Liberty Township.
Investigators say the two men walked into the model home on Corkwood Knoll at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday, maced the Ryan Homes employee showing the home, struggled with her and stole her jewelry.
While the victim wasn’t seriously hurt, police say the attack could have been worse if not for the victim’s quick thinking. She managed to get back to her desk and push the button for an audible alarm, which scared away the attackers.
While Butler County Sheriff’s detectives are working with a sketch to come up with a composite drawings of the suspects, some members of the community say the situation reminds them of an infamous criminal who terrorized the Tri-State for more than a decade.
Deputies say are some similarities to the case involving David Hopper, the so-called "blue-eyed rapist." For 14 years, Hopper walked into shoe stores, restaurants and model homes between 1992 and 2006, raping nine victims across the Tri-state area.
In the Warren County attack, prosecutors said Hopper walked into a model home in the Greycliff subdivision near Springboro with a handgun and demanded purses and jewelry from two female attendants. He then forced the women into the basement of the home and sexually assaulted them.
Hopper will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
As detectives continue to search for the suspects in the Liberty Township attack, homebuilders and realtors are reminding their employees to be careful and aware of their surroundings when showing homes.
Cincinnati Board of Realtors President Kevin Kelly offered a few tips to keep people in the real estate business safe during house showings.
"So, if you're in a house, and you're holding an open house, obviously knowing where any exits are, making sure that there's multiple exits, which there should be, and knowing if you're in a certain part of the house, if you had to find a way to get out, where that would be, but knowing that in advance," he said.
Other tips are to have multiple lights turned on if the showing is at dusk or after dark. Kelly also suggested utilizing the “buddy system,” where agents check up on one another during open homes and other showings.
If you have any information on this crime, contact Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.
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