ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY (WJZ) — Anne Arundel County realtors gathered with retired law enforcement officers for a safety seminar.
The seminar comes in the wake of a December 2018 shooting in Hanover, Maryland, where 33-year-old Steve Wilson was shot to death during an open house.READ MORE: UPDATE: Barricade Situation In Prince George's County Resolved Safely
“It was quite a shock,” Michele Cordle, President of the Anne Arundel County Association of Realtors, said. “It brings everything to the forefront that we are walking into homes with strangers.”
Officials said that 18-year-old Nicholas Augustyniak shot Wilson with a long gun and then stole his cell phone and laptop.
Augustyniak was charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery, theft and use of a firearm in a violent crime.
Rick Tabor, a security guard with Chesapeake Security, gave some safety tips at the seminar.READ MORE: Surveillance Video Shows Response After Four Children Shot In East Baltimore; Governor Criticizes Justice System As ‘Broken’ Amid Spike In Violence
“Don’t park in the driveway, that way you don’t get blocked in,” he said. “Don’t take a purse in the house with you.”
Realtor’s from across the county also shared advice.
“It’s always good to protect yourself and meet the buyer at your office,” Julie Sheperad, an Anne Arundel County realtor, said. “Get to know them. Take a copy of their driver’s license so somebody will know who you’re with.”
According to a national study, 60 percent of women and 20 percent of men say open houses cause anxiety.
“We need to make sure that we have safety measures in place and understand that we’re very vulnerable,” Cordle said. “The bottom line is to trust your instincts.”MORE NEWS: For The Third Day In A Row, Some Baltimore City Schools Were Forced To Dismiss Early Due To Lack Of Air Conditioning