Broker duo used rodents to hamper competing sale

June 29, 2013 04:30PM

A husband-and-wife broker duo in Philadelphia’s Lower Merion township sprinkled dead mice and snakes onto the yard of their neighbor’s $1 million home in order to sabotage its sale, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Along with planting the vermin, Lower Merion police said security camera footage showed that Jonathan and Andrea Straub, who sell top-drawer homes for Prudential Fox & Roach in the Main Line region, also cut branches off their neighbors’ trees, knocked over “For Sale” signs and otherwise vandalized the Booth Lane property.

The Straubs’ own home, a three-bedroom stucco with marble baths and a pool, is currently on the market asking $1 million.

Regina Hunt, a high-end broker who also lives in Booth Lane, told the Inquirer that the Straubs’ “For Sale” sign was right next to the one belonging to Mary Martell, the owner of the vandalized home.

“It’s hard to believe really,” Hunt said. “I don’t know what’s going on there.”

Police took the video to the Straubs and they confessed, Lower Merion spokesman Tom Walsh told the Inquirer.

Neither the Straubs nor Martell returned the Inquirer’s requests for comment. But the Straubs’ attorney Anthony List Jr. called the charges against them “absurd” and told the Inquirer that the couple never threw dead animals on the property. There are dead mice and garden snakes all over the area, he added.

“This is spun out of control and is just absurd. This is a minor dispute with the caretaker guy,” the attorney said. [Philadelphia Inquirer]  – Hiten Samtani