Squatter stole $300,000 in art from San Francisco mansion, police say
When police responded to reports of a squatter at a San Francisco mansion over the weekend, they didn’t expect to catch an alleged art thief believed to have stolen and sold paintings valued at more than $300,000.
While squatting in the home, Jeremiah Kaylor, 39, took 11 paintings from the walls and sold them through social media and pawn shops, said Officer Carlos Manfredi, a spokesman for the San Francisco Police Department. Nine of the 11 paintings have been recovered.
Kaylor was charged with trespassing and 10 counts of burglary, Manfredi said.
The initial call about a possible squatter at the home on the 3800 block of Washington Street came Saturday just before 11 p.m. When police made contact with Kaylor, he produced documents allegedly showing he was going to be the proprietary owner of the home, police said.
“This individual produced some type of paperwork that looked like it was official, saying he had a right to stay there,” Manfredi said. “It is a little sophisticated ... not typical for squatters to do.”
When police were unable to reach the homeowner and sales agent, they left. But the next day, the sales agent called police and said no one should be inside.
Kaylor may have been squatting there for as long as two months, Manfredi said.
As officers put Kaylor into a patrol car Sunday, the sales agent realized that paintings were missing from the walls, Manfredi said. When officers looked outside, they found a wooden crate with a painting from the home ready to be placed inside a U-Haul truck that Kaylor had rented.
During his stay, Kaylor was taking the paintings from the home and selling them, Manfredi said. Inspectors have leads on the last two remaining paintings, which Manfredi noted were selling for below their true value.
“It sounds like the suspect was not really selling it at the value of what it was really worth,” Manfredi said. “In fact, it was going very, very low.”
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