Alleged squatter pleads guilty to selling paintings from Presidio Heights mansion

A 40-year-old man who allegedly squatted in a Presidio Heights mansion and sold thousands of dollars of paintings from the home has pleaded guilty to felony charges in connection with the crime.

Jeremiah Kaylor of Dragoon, Ariz., pleaded guilty Tuesday to grand theft and identity theft in exchange for a year in county jail and five years of probation, said Max Szabo, a spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office.

The home was vacated in 2012, and the owners apparently left behind furnishings, clothing and a dozen pieces of art valued at $224,000, court records show. Sometime in August 2015, Kaylor entered the house and took about 11 paintings, according to court records.

He reportedly sold the paintings either to a private party or various shops, including two in San Francisco and one in Beverly Hills.

Kaylor was spotted on the property on Oct. 18, 2015, moving items from the garage, including a large crate that contained one of the paintings, according to court records.

When confronted by police, Kaylor initially denied knowing anything about the missing paintings, but later admitted to the allegation.

A subsequent investigation revealed Kaylor had purchased a domain name in the name of the owner, and impersonated him by creating an email from the owner to himself in which Kaylor supposedly donated the paintings to himself. Kaylor then used the email to try to trick a gallery owner into buying the stolen paintings.

“SFPD did a stellar job with this investigation,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement to the San Francisco Examiner. “They were able to track the artwork across the state and return the stolen property to the victim.”

In addition to jail time, Kaylor must pay restitution to various people and businesses, and stay away from various witnesses and the property involved in the case.

art theftCrimeDistrict Attorney's Officepresidio heights

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