JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A property manager says a group of teenagers broke in and damaged a Jacksonville home he was preparing for a new family, and one of the burglars left behind a cellphone.
Chad Thode, the home's property manager, says people want to buy the homes that he and a team are repairing but people keep breaking into them. One of the burglaries happened Monday morning.
"It's heartbreaking," Thode said. "This house was going to close on Monday. Now, it's not going to close because we are waiting on windows that have to be ordered. That will take two weeks to get in."
Thode was delivering a new fence to replace an old one when a neighbor alerted him to vandals in the house.
"I am going through the back gate and the neighbor says, 'There are kids running through the back,'" Thode said. "All of a sudden, I see these kids walking down the street. I ask a neighbor, 'Is that them?' They say, 'Yes.' So, I snap some photos of them real quick and then off they went."
Thode took photos of the teens. One of them, he says, came back to the house and asked for a cellphone she left in the home.
The property manager said he refused to let the teen in the house and she left. Now, police have that cellphone and the names of the teens.
This is the third home that has been damaged while Thode and his team were preparing one to be sold, he said. One happened on Marion Circle and another on Kingsbury Street, just a block away.
Thode says the damage will cost over $1,500. Overall, he's looking at about $10,000 in property damages.
Police are still investigating the burglaries. No arrests have been announced.