Police: Appraisers burglarize southeast Austin home

Print
Email
|

by KVUE

khou.com

Posted on January 8, 2014 at 10:19 AM

AUSTIN -- Detectives at Austin police's burglary unit are working on what they call a unique case that got their attention.

A southeast Austin home was burglarized, but when residents returned home, the front door was still locked.

A witness, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she saw thieves take her neighbor's washer, dryer and couch.

According to an arrest affidavit, Bank of America hired Safeguard to appraise the home. Safeguard then hired Luis Perez and his 23-year-old son, Jacob, to take photographs inside the home. The arrest affidavit showed that Safeguard gave them the key.

Police said the two took more than photographs.

"I didn't really pay much attention to it," the witness said. "Like I said, they had paperwork from the mortgage company."

Witnesses said they saw the men pull up with a trailer, load up the washer, dryer and couch and drive away.

"It's kind of like, 'Who are you sending out? Do you really know who you're sending to the neighborhood?' It's kind of scary," the witness said.

Austin police detective Jared Manning said the case is an odd one.

"I've been here two years, and I've seen a lot. I've never seen one like this," Manning said.

The homeowner is pressing charges against the father and son.

"It could have been a one-time thing. It could have been a bad decision," Manning said. "I think it's rare. It just makes you weary about trusting people."

Both men are charged with burglary of a habitation, a second degree felony. If convicted, they face two to 20 years in jail.

It's not the first time Safeguard has made headlines. Homeowners in other parts of Texas have accused the company of breaking into and foreclosing on the wrong houses.

A spokeswoman from Safeguard said the company will cooperate with the investigation.

A spokeswoman from Bank of America said she will research the matter and respond with a comment.

Print
Email
|