0

Police seeking real estate agent's kidnapper

LAWRENCEVILLE - A man suspected of posing as a prospective buyer to abduct a real estate agent last week may have attempted a similar scam at other real estate offices in recent days.

A posting on the Georgia Association of Realtors Web site warns that a man claiming to be a former baseball player for the Seattle Mariners contacted a Keller Williams office over the weekend. The man identified himself as "Mike Smith" and asked an agent to meet him at an empty house.

When the office refused to send out an agent and requested he come in to be prequalified, the man hung up, the Web posting stated.

On Monday, the man showed up at Keller Williams Buckhead office. When assigned a male agent to view homes in the $750,000 range, the man said he was no longer interested.

The suspect is described as a black man, about 6 feet 1 inch tall driving a white Chevy Malibu with Florida license plate 5776 PY.

Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Darren Moloney said investigators have received many calls from people who think they may have dealt with this man, but they have been unable to confirm the accounts. Police also could not verify the accuracy of reported sightings on the Georgia Association of Realtors Web site.

"The lead investigator is handling a lot of calls dealing with people who hear things or whose friend went through something similar," Moloney said.

For now, police are focusing their efforts on catching the man responsible for the April 6 abduction, Moloney said. In that incident, an unidentified man kidnapped a 27-year-old Suwanee real estate agent by pretending to want to buy a condominium. While in a conference room alone, he reportedly produced a knife and showed her a handgun in his waistband.

The suspect forced the real estate agent to withdraw money from a bank and then took her to Carnegie Jewelers in the Forum Shopping Center in Norcross. He made the woman buy a $7,500 Rolex and then dropped her off unharmed at a drug store in Atlanta.

The woman described the suspect as a 6-foot-tall black man, 200 pounds, wearing a black cap, all black outfit and dark glasses. He is in his mid-30s to early 40s with a heavy build and an Omega tattoo on his right arm.