Open House, License to Steal? Not So Fast

"One thing we know about intervention is that when people form a team, and we do so very quickly with those we know -- with friends -- when one friend reacts, others generally follow suit."

ABC News wondered whether it would see that same teamwork again and whether the race of the thieves would affect the response. To find out, in the next scenario the white actresses were replaced with two black women.

Teamwork and Community, With a Twist

This time, two couples walked in the front door who were complete strangers.

As the black women begin a new stealing spree, this time swiping a fur coat, the women seemed to notice right away. But like the first visitors to the open house, Stacy Lipstein and Jie Yuan were at first reluctant to say anything, until homeowner Margot approached them with a question.

"Did any of you notice, I thought there was a mink coat in that box over there?" Margot said. "I thought it was there, but I don't see it."

Lipstein immediately marched up to the thieves with Margot and the other visitors in tow. She seemed to have no doubt that the actors had stolen the fur coat and confronted them directly.

As the women vehemently denied the allegations, the couples formed a posse of resistance with Lipstein in the lead and Yuan as her second in command. While Lipstein called the police, the others blocked the front door as the thieves tried to flee the house.

"There's an open house and there's somebody in here stealing things," Lipstein told the 911 operator. "She stole everything. That girl just stole everything!"

The same spirit of teamwork and community that was witnessed when the white thieves were stealing had occurred again with the black actresses.

But there was one difference ABC News noticed. Huang had told the homeowner about the thievery right away, but neither Lipstein nor Yuan said a word about what they witnessed until Margot, the homeowner, spoke up first.

ABC News asked the women whether they thought their hesitation was due to the actresses' race.

"It had nothing to do with the race," said Lipstein.

"We are minority too, you know," said Yuan, who is from Beijing. "When it's wrong, it's wrong, it doesn't matter you're black, you're white, you're yellow, you know ... whatever color."

A Second Chance

In our last twist of the day, the black actresses were replaced with a black male. Would the gender of the thief change the response?

ABC News' hidden cameras rolled as friends and prospective home buyers Jason Woodlee and Patrick McKeown walked toward the front door. Until now women had noticed the stealing so ABC News was surprised when Woodlee caught on right away.

As soon as he observed the actor steal a diamond ring, it was as if Woodlee's radar had gone off. Woodlee almost seemed to stalk the thief as the actor then stole an iPod, prescription medication and a watch. Within seconds he notified Margot.

"The fella that's walking around. He's picked up four different items … and put them in his bag."

With Margot now aware, Woodlee walked over to the actor and confronted him.

"The iPod that was over here. I saw you put it in your bag."

The actor, Cezar, told Woodlee that he was mistaken and that the iPod belonged to him. But Woodlee didn't buy it. He continued to push Cezar to confess and when that didn't work, much to ABC News' surprise, he offered the thief a way out.

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