Couple Plants Dead Animals to Sabotage Neighbor's Home Sale, Police Say

The defendants' home is on the market too, according to police. Oh, and they're both realtors.

The bizarre behavior took place on the 100 block of Booth Lane in the Haverford section of Lower Merion.
The bizarre behavior took place on the 100 block of Booth Lane in the Haverford section of Lower Merion.

A Haverford couple was cited for disorderly conduct on Thursday after Lower Merion Police say they threw dead animals in their next-door neighbors' yard in an apparent attempt to sabotage the sale of their Booth Lane home.

The couple that was charged, Andrea and Jonathan Straub, are both realtors in the area and have their home on the market as well, according to police.

According to Officer JoAnne Pepitone, the owner of the home that was vandalized has been in the hospital for several weeks, but was informed by her house sitter that someone was knocking over the "for sale" signs in the yard and stealing flyers advertising the property.

Pepitone said security cameras were then installed in the home, which clearly showed the Straubs, aged 40 and 34, kicking over the signs, placing dead mice and snakes in the driveway, cutting branches from trees, and otherwise damaging the property.

Pepitone said the house sitter showed police the footage and added that the Straubs, after they were confronted by police, just shrugged and confessed to the vandalism.

"They said they thought the signs were tacky," Pepitone explained.

While the Straubs face minor charges, at least one animal rights group expressed outrage at their actions.

Steven Conway, a humane educator with the Montgomery County SPCA, said the couple showed an appalling lack of respect for animal life.

“Clearly this is heinous behavior," Conway told Patch.

KD June 26, 2013 at 06:34 AM
It's such a pity when immature adults act so insecure.
Lori Israeli June 26, 2013 at 06:51 AM
I feel sorry for the hospitalized neighbor and the associates of these two individuals whose business may suffer due to this extremely unprofessional, unethical & downright abhorrent behavior.
kim June 26, 2013 at 07:17 AM
the realators involved should lose their license to practice real estate. Hopefully the company they work for will fire them as well.
Lori Israeli June 26, 2013 at 07:45 AM
If convicted of disorderly conduct, even though it is a misdemeanor, they are required by law to report it to the PA Real Estate Commission w/in 30 days. They could very well have their licenses revoked or suspended. Certainly not something to shrug one's shoulders at when one requires a license to make a living.
Regina Brown June 26, 2013 at 09:01 AM
I would seriously question the integrity and judgement of any real estate professional who would behave this way towards their own neighbor. Very disappointing that these people chose to act in such a destructive and juvenile manner while also displaying a disregard for the lives of the animals that were sacrificed to serve their petty 'vendetta'.
Josh June 26, 2013 at 09:59 AM
outside of the mice and snakes ... Brilliant marketing. Now we all know two houses are hot, competing on booth lane, and it appears the straubs can't cut a bargain but the other couple can. And while I respect licenses, about anyone can obtain this one. Its all about how good the real estate pro is at selling not a piece of paper. Would be surprised if any action against their livelihood will stick, esp if they have the brains to hire a semi decent attorney. Patch - what is the other side of the story? Why did they resort to such teenage actions? Get the story. Get the video at least....
Kurt E Hoenig June 26, 2013 at 11:55 AM
moral turpitude take their licenses away from them!
Josh June 26, 2013 at 12:02 PM
Good one Kurt- I am not an attorney but very familiar. This is not robbery forgery assault so forth so I do not think a minor infraction equates to taking away livelihood, unjust punishment. The community, if they remember in two weeks, or minutes, will determine the morales of this couple and determine their local fate re biz. Just a thought. I remember a rocking high school party on booth many decades ago
John Barone June 28, 2013 at 06:02 PM
Fire The Straubs and String Them up on their Pru FOX ROACH Sign
John Barone June 28, 2013 at 06:02 PM
The Straubs need to Loose Their License
R U guessing ? June 29, 2013 at 02:20 PM
Anyone that thinks they should lose thier license, should lose thier head, cause' they definetly not thinking with it !
laura June 30, 2013 at 02:51 PM
Speaking of using our " heads" I hear spell check is quite popular.
Elizabeth June 30, 2013 at 03:08 PM
The Realtor Code of Ethics is based on the Golden Rule and with a maximum fine of 5,000. Other restitution can be based on actual damages-- but it might be more prudent to file a civil claim. I hope the outrage against them by the Straubs is immediately compensated by increased showings due to free publicity. (Fyi it appears that the Straub's house is at some level under contract with a contingency outstanding) That said, As Josh mentioned, i am interested in hearing why the Straubs did this? Or if this is in general the way they do business? Either way, it contributes to a negative impression of the real estate industry.
R U guessing ? July 01, 2013 at 08:44 PM
watch out for the spelling and grammar Police. U got the picture, RIGHT ?
laura July 03, 2013 at 04:36 PM
no I don't get the picture.... people are usually held accountable for their actions.. especially professional adults in their 30's....
Josh July 03, 2013 at 05:20 PM
Why in their 30's ? It's ok if in the 20's... Not busting your chops but that needs to be re stated? Spell check missed the '-' ! Happy 4th.
R U guessing ? July 03, 2013 at 08:24 PM
Well then Laura, U know Where U can go ?
laura July 03, 2013 at 09:21 PM
Where is that person who won't give a name... especially professional" adults" now what's your argument?
R U guessing ? July 03, 2013 at 10:17 PM
I can be professional when i want, On the blogs everything is C A S U A L . Get a LIFE, Laura !
Josh July 04, 2013 at 10:11 AM
Man, Lets be kind, a few folks have certain characteristics and opinions to respect; particularly about professionals in their 30's. Those same people who are supporting them the most ( and as they cross 40/45 in LM ) with benefits all other generations will never see. We are a stung generation but not lost. Now some must resort to harming snakes and mice to sell their Booth Ln house. Laura, I put my chips on the box that you are well educated and respected in your circle of life. To all, happy 4th. It hopefully means something to us all. I think we all just want PATCH to get these pics and video posted, report an event for real. Pics equal clicks.... That's more ad sales. Do it!! Tom?
Taylor July 09, 2013 at 07:21 AM
Andrea should be held to a hire standard because she is in the position of public trust. Jonathan never really sold real estate. He has a broken bottling marketing business. Andrea has finally met her match. Maybe she will stop wearing all that real estate makeup.
Josh July 09, 2013 at 09:40 AM
Now the attorney is saying they were treated unfairly and are not guilty. Way to stay on this one, Patch? So it's about a 235k difference in price- Straubs at just over 1 million and the vandalized property at 775k. Welcome to the neighborhood !! What is broken bottling marketing? Literally, is it recycling or a failing business per the above? Nosey folks want to know...
Taylor July 09, 2013 at 02:17 PM
Jonathan tries to market a juice product that provides health benefits. Just a lot of pricey marketing. Never made any real money. Best thing that ever happened to him was he married Andrea. Now that is not such a good thing. He can't live off her commissions as he did in the past.


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