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What David Iglesias Sr. and his son thought was a simple case of Christian charity and an arrangement that made sense turned into unfathomable “devastation.”
Iglesias, a retired pastor, and his son, David Iglesias Jr., co-own a home at the corner of Rock Crusher Road and State Road 44.
Late this past October, a smooth-talking couple with two young children contacted the younger Iglesias about a fix-to-own proposition for the property. The couple gets to live in the house rent-free while making various repairs to the home until papers are drawn up for a purchase plan.
The couple moved in in November and Iglesias said red flags began popping up everywhere.
He said his son, who lives in Tennessee, said he received a call from the water company about a bad line into the home. The couple also missed appointments to draw up paperwork for the purchase of the house.
“So, my son told me to go talk to the man,” Iglesias said.
He said when he arrived at the house the man met him at the door and would not let him go into the gated backyard, which was secured with a combination lock — another red flag, Iglesias thought.
Last week, Iglesias said his son told him to check on the party boat he had left in the home’s backyard. He said he immediately noticed the boat had been stripped bare.
Iglesias immediately called the sheriff’s office, which began an investigation.
Meanwhile, fearing the worst, Iglesias went back to the home and gained access.
“That’s when the devastation hit. Electrical wires were strewn everywhere. The dishwasher, gone; all the fixtures, gone; everything was ripped from the walls. The refrigerator was knocked over,” Iglesias said.
The couple and their kids also were gone. Citrus County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the case.
The couple used the fix-to-own ruse to gain access to the home and took out all the copper and metal components including the water pipes, which caused the water company to notice a glitch in the flow to the home.
Iglesias expects repairs to the home to cost nothing less than $100,000.
“They knew the game,” Iglesias said of the couple.
Contact Chronicle reporter A.B. Sidibe at 352-564-2925 or firstname.lastname@example.org.