San Francisco police thwarted an art thief who stole and sold $300,000 worth of paintings while he was squatting in a multimillion dollar Presidio Heights home that was for sale. All but two of the 11 paintings have reportedly been recovered so far.
The man identified as Jeremiah Kaylor, 39, of Dragoon, Arizona, is believed to have been squatting at the eight-bedroom, seven-bathroom home for two months, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
On Saturday, around 11 p.m., officers reportedly responded to reports of a suspicious person at the for sale mansion located on the 3800 block of Washington Street.
When they approached Kaylor, he presented them with fraudulent legal documents to back up his claims that he was in the process of buying the home. SFPD Officer and spokesman Carlos Manfredi reportedly said, “for a person to generate legal documents, you’ve got to be a little more sophisticated than your average squatter.” Soon after, police contacted the listing agent who informed officers that he was the sole individual with keys to the home. On Sunday, the agent went to the home and performed a citizens arrest on Kaylor.
The Chronicle notes that Kaylor had been selling the art work from the mansion on social media sites like Facebook, and to local pawn shops, for nowhere near their six-figure value.
Nine of the 11 missing pieces were tracked down between Sunday and Monday. Investigators told the Chronicle they had “good leads” on the other two pieces and were confident they would locate them soon.
Manfredi reportedly said that Kaylor didn’t appear to have a criminal history in California and that it was unclear whether this his first time squatting and stealing from a high-value home. Kaylor has been charged with one count of trespassing and 10 counts of burglary.