Saturday, October 2, 2010

Well, it's about time

In what could be a first in Riverside County, a former homeowner is charged with a crime in connection with damage to a property in foreclosure.

A San Diego police officer and his wife have been charged with a felony in the trashing of their six-bedroom tract home, which was in foreclosure, in the French Valley area of southwest Riverside County. From stones smashed off the facade to dye poured on carpets, the damage totaled $200,000, according to court records.

The extent of the damage and the "obvious malice" pushed the case into the realm of criminal behavior, Riverside County sheriff's Sgt. Mike Hatfield said.

The damage to the Via Laguna home included missing appliances and fixtures, torn-out wiring and trees tossed in the swimming pool, according to court records.

Robert Conrad Acosta, 39, and Monique Evette Acosta, 35, were charged Monday with destroying and carrying away items from a mortgaged property with the intent to defraud or injure. If convicted, they face up to four years in prison, district attorney's spokesman John Hall said. As of Friday, they had not been arrested.

According to court records, San Diego Metropolitan Credit Union had given the Acostas until July 1 to move out of the home, located in an unincorporated area near Murrieta.

Tina Medrud, a credit union representative, went to inspect the home June 15 and discovered that it had been vandalized inside and out, court records show.

The two-car garage door was gone, along with gates, the flagstone patio and walkway. Some of the decorative facade had been smashed off the house and the outdoor fireplace. Walls throughout the home were sprayed with black paint. Among the items missing: air conditioners, decorative beams, countertops, cabinets, fixtures and woodwork. The stone floor in a hallway was destroyed. Wiring had been pulled from the walls and cut. Trees and bushes had been thrown into the damaged backyard pool.

Medrud reported the damage to the Sheriff's Department, telling investigators that the Acostas had attempted unsuccessfully to modify their home loan and that the credit union had begun the foreclosure process, court records say.

In e-mails provided to investigators by the credit union and quoted in a declaration in support of a search warrant, Monique Acosta wrote that she believed she had been misled by credit union officials. In one message she demanded $10,000 in exchange for moving out and leaving the home in good condition, court records show.

A witness reported seeing the Acostas on June 12 removing items from the home, court records say. Later, many of the missing items were recovered by investigators from the Acostas' storage units in San Diego County.


Tyrone said...


Temper, temper, Mrs. Acosta.

ocrenter said...

Jim's got extensive coverage on this on bubbleinfo as well.

And yes, the wife IS a REALTOR®.

Monique researched it...
Monique decorated it...
Monique got foreclosed...
Monique sledge hammered it...