Saturday, September 3, 2011

Cops: Foreclosed Owners' Home-Trashing Escapade Leaves Them Facing Five Years In Prison; Couple Declined 'Cash for Keys' Offer: Investor

In Tampa, Florida, ABC Action News reports:

  • When real estate investor Jon Spinks walks into a foreclosure property, he is never sure what he'll find. One month ago, he found a big mess. "The house was totally trashed," he said.

  • Photos show the New Tampa house in a gated community littered with trash when the former owners moved out. Deputies say when the married couple took off, they also stripped $10,000 worth of property and took it with them.

  • "All the cabinet doors were missing. Of course, the refrigerator was gone," said Jon Spinks. The ceilings fans, fixtures, bathroom vanities, water heater and more were also missing, according to Spinks.


  • Spinks says he offered the couple cash to leave their keys and the house intact. He also says they refused the offer.

  • Now the couple is dealing with foreclosure and criminal charges. "That was our intent at first, to try to recover the property," said Sergeant Joel Masci with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Sergeant Masci says they arrested the couple, who now face five years' prison time if convicted.

  • "If it was something you would normally purchase a house that you expect it to be included with the house, then that's what we look at. If those items were taken, we can actually file grand theft charges," he said.

For the story, see New Tampa couple accused of stealing $10,000 of goods from foreclosed home (Deputies say couple stripped front door, cabinets).

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