Police say woman attended open houses, stole jewelry

Gretchen Leahy (Courtesy Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)
Gretchen Leahy (Courtesy Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)

By Sara Gouedy - bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A Cincinnati woman is accused of taking more than a flyer when she attended real estate open houses throughout Hamilton County.

Gretchen Leahy, 37, faces one count of theft for allegedly taking a watch and two rings during an open house in Mariemont in August of 2007. She was arrested on Tuesday.

Police say Leahy would pretend to be interested in buying a home, take the jewelry and then later pawn it.

Victim Melissa Schmidt says Leahy took jewelry from her dresser drawer.

"For me to think that someone came into my bedroom and took something so important to me, when it means nothing to them, it's really upsetting and very sad," said Schmidt.

Melissa says she and her husband didn't realize what had happened until about a week later. Their neighbor, Martha Kane, spotted Leahy's car in the neighborhood again.

"My husband and kids were out the in the yard, saw a woman drive by, slow down, and very obviously look at the house, almost like she was looking for the for sale sign again, and my daughter was the one who identified, 'hey daddy, it's a red BMW,'" said Kane.

More charges could be coming because police say she worked the scam for well over a year throughout Hamilton County. It is unknown how many homes Leahy stole from.