FLINT (WJRT) - (10/10/19) - It's a disturbing pattern that could see a group of west coast investors pull their money out of the city of Flint after just launching a city-centered reality show on Heartland Network in August.
A local property management company says its vacant rental properties are being targeted by thieves as soon as they're renovated and listed.
Gebrael Management has shown a different side of the city with the reality show 'Just Renting,' but the recent string of break-ins is casting a negative spotlight on the world of property management in the Vehicle City.
"It's very concerning, not only for us, our investors, but the community as a whole," said Branch Manager Cortne Moshier.
Moshier took our ABC12 camera inside one of Gebrael Management's 30 rental listings on the city's south side.
She says it was the first one, out of eleven, broken into nine days ago. They've had break-ins reported in other parts of the city as well, and already upwards of $10,000 in losses.
She says the thieves are coming in through the back or side of the houses between midnight and 3:00 a.m. At some of the properties they're reportedly taking the furnace and water heater. At other properties they are reportedly just opting for one of the appliances. What's worse, Moshier says they're compromising the gas lines.
"You know, if the property fills with gas, someone lights a match or starts their car, and there is a spark...that could be the whole neighborhood," Moshier said.
Steve McCann lives next door and is just as worried.
"It's very unsafe not only for that house but neighbors that are near, and I have children and it makes me very uncomfortable," McCann said.
Moshier fears that west coast investors, Nationwide Property Partners, could take their business elsewhere.
In March Nationwide Property Partners buyer Jack Galvin said they were fighting the perception of Flint and hoping to open the eyes of viewers to what the city has to offer.
"I think this is probably one of the lasting great investment values in the United States right now," Galvin said at the time.
In August the reality show was picked up by Heartland Network.
"It makes them definitely want to rethink investing in the city for sure," Moshier said.
The Flint Police Department told ABC12 they are investigating the break-ins.
Meanwhile, the next episode of Just Renting will feature the home that was broken into - showing its renovation process.
For more on how you can watch the episode, clickhere.