SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -

According to the Spokane Association of Realtors, 21 vacant houses in south Spokane Valley have had their lock boxes stolen since November.

Investigators think whoever is doing this is cutting the lock box off the door knob then taking the lock box somewhere else to get the key out. The thieves are then reportedly coming back later and stealing ovens from the homes.

?As far as we?re concerned it?s new, we have never had it happen before,? Rob Higgins with the Spokane Association of Realtors said.

If you're looking for a vacant home to break into, you don't have too look too far.

?There are a number of vacant houses, with the market being slow there, perhaps more vacant properties than what we had in the past 5 years,? Higgins said.

Vacant properties are perfect targets for vandalism because there is nobody watching them on daily basis. Someone has figured that out and has been stealing the lock boxes and then going back with the house key to steal ovens from homes.

The Spokane Association of Realtors has warned agents about this rash of vacant home thefts. They have asked agents to keep a closer eye on their properties and maybe even get rid of their lock boxes all together.

?Our assumption is whoever is doing this is driving around looking for vacant property and kind of watching them for a period of time and trying to get access to them,? Higgins said.

Investigators have no idea why someone is stealing the ovens but they have asked that anybody who might know about these thefts to call Crime Check at 456-2233.