A former San Diego police officer was convicted Monday for causing damage to his Riverside County home that fell into foreclosure.
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Robert Acosta and his wife, Monique, were accused of causing an estimated $160,000 damage to their six-bedroom home in the French Valley section of Murrieta.
Robert Acosta was found guilty of all charges, including grand theft.
Monique Acosta was found guilty last Friday for her role in the incident. Riverside County authorities said she and her husband face four years in prison when they are sentenced in July.
Authorities said stones were smashed off the facade, dye poured on the carpet, an air conditioner and other appliances were missing, fixtures were destroyed or stolen, wiring torn out of the walls, uprooted trees thrown in the swimming pool, a garage door was missing, a flagstone patio, walkway and hallway were torn up and spray paint was on the walls.
Many of the appliances taken were found in storage units in San Diego where the couple relocated, authorities said.
"The bank told them to get a cheaper car payment. They got a cheaper car payment. The bank told them to do something else. They did it," neighbor Jennifer Peet told 10News in 2010.
Peet recalled a conversation she had with Robert Acosta outside of their homes.
"I went, 'You did so much damage to your house. It's overly damaged.' He goes, 'I didn't do it, my renters did it,'" said Peet.
However, authorities obtained pictures of Monique Acosta cutting down a cypress tree and her husband loading garage door panels into a truck.
Investigators said the Acostas were told to leave the home by July 1, 2010, and were last seen in June 2010. In June 2010, the credit union which held the mortgage discovered the damage and reported it to authorities.
"They put their heart and soul, just everything into it; it was the best house on the street," said neighbor Keith Peet.
Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Marcus Garrett agreed the Acostas fell victim to the economy, but doesn't excuse their actions.
"We're going through a lot of pain here in Riverside County and across the country with regard to foreclosures and this behavior is not the answer," said Garrett.
The home was purchased by an investor, who turned around and and sold it for $322,000. The bank was also reimbursed for damages by an insurance company.
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