Homeowner arrested for stripping his foreclosed home

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There was a first-of-a-kind crime case in Surprise where a victim of the foreclosure crisis has found himself in jail.


First-time arrest for man accused of stripping foreclosed home - azfamily.com's Jared Dillingham reports a victim of foreclosure ended up in jail after reportedly stripping his house.

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The law says that if you are in foreclosure, you have to leave your home in the same condition it was in when you moved in.

What one man allegedly did to his home is the poster-child for what not to do.

You can see some of the damage outside where the homeowner took all the exterior lighting off when he left.

Much more damage was done inside and it was enough to warrant for the first time, criminal charges.

The 4,000-square-foot home is full of holes. One is where the ovens were installed and another where the dishwasher used to sit.

The homeowner also cut support beams in the ceilings to take out more components in the attic. All that was left behind was a mess of duct work and insulation.

Police say it was the work of this Robert Garcia. Neighbors say Garcia lived in the home with his family until it went into foreclosure.

Chief Dan Hughes says, "I'm sure he's upset, but it doesn't give him the right to tear up homedevalues community around it."

Neighbors are the ones who reported Garcia's home-stripping to police. John Williams tells 3TV, "I don't want to be the guy living next to Garcia. Painful situation, but we don't want it to happen again."

The City of Surprise is making an example out of Garcia. Police arrested him at work on Tuesday in Tucson.

Chief Hughes explains, "I think he was certainly surprised we pursued this case."

They hope his case serves as a warning to others in this foreclosure-heavy community.

Garcia is facing two felony counts: Defrauding the bank and criminal damage. He could end up doing a year in jail for each charge.