Home robbed after virtual tour

Police have warned people advertising homes online to be mindful of what is on display, after sports memorabilia was stolen from a home that featured in a virtual tour.

Investigations continue into the theft of $150,000 worth of sporting goods from the home in Kellyville in Sydney's north-west.

The home was listed for sale and was featured on a real estate agent's Web site as a virtual reality tour, said police.

The home owners were overseas when thieves broke in two weeks ago. Items stolen included a boxed set of Don Bradman and Mark Taylor cricket bats, a signed Michael Doohan helmet, a signed NSW Waratahs rugby jumper, and a signed Newcastle Knights jumper.

Detective Sergeant Graham Wright from Castle Hill police told PC World that although there was no direct link between the crime and the online virtual tour, it was a "pretty big coincidence".

"The home was shown online, and then within the week it was broken into," he said.

The robbery and the online virtual tour were "very likely" linked, he said.

Det Sgt Wright said the online virtual tour allowed users to 'move around' inside and outside the house via video footage.

"I had a look at this house [via the online tour], and you could see everything that was inside," he said.

"I think these [Web sites] are a great asset for selling houses. But people using them have got to be mindful of what is on display.

"People can get a whole overview of the house. They can see the inside and outside, they can identify entry and exit points, and escape routes.”

Due to privacy concerns, Det Sgt Wright said he could not name the real estate agent with which the house was listed.

Det Sgt Wright said he had no knowledge of previous cases of real estate advertising online leading to robbery.

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Steven Deare

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