SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU)
San Francisco police have arrested a squatter for allegedly stealing 11 contemporary paintings from a vacant home in the tony Presidio Heights neighborhood.
Jeremiah Henry Kaylor, 39, somehow broke into a four-bedroom guest home adjacent to a nine-bedroom mansion that's listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The two homes, plus an unbuilt lot, have been vacant for many years and are now for sale, to the tune of $17 million.
Kaylor allegedly stole 11 paintings that were still on the walls of the guest home before stashing them into a U-Haul van, all under the noses of police and neighbors. Police say he tried to sell the art on social media and at pawn shops.
About 11 p.m. Saturday, police were summoned to the property to investigate reports that Kaylor was squatting there.
Officers arrived and contacted him, but Kaylor told them that he was about to own the property. Because of the lateness of the day, they had to take him at his word before letting him go, said Officer Carlos Manfredi, a San Francisco police spokesman.
By Sunday, police were able to confirm with the listing agent that Kaylor had no business being at the home, Manfredi said. The agent, in fact, went into the guest home and found Kaylor on the property, trying to make off with a painting in a special crate that he was trying to get into the U-Haul van, police said.
Police have since recovered nine out of the 11 stolen paintings. He has been arrested on suspicion of 10 counts of burglary.
Neighbors say they had no idea that anyone was squatting on the property. Police have been called to the property before, but only to investigate complaints that people were skateboarding outside the main house.
The listing agent has declined to comment. Police will still have to confirm who owns each of the paintings. Two other paintings remained unrecovered as of late Monday.