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Among the goods allegedly grabbed by a Sweetwater couple: citizenship documents that would allow one man to visit his ill mother in Cuba and the ashes of another man’s mother.
The couple, Yoandry Perez and Jessica Casas, say on Facebook that they’re married but told police they’re boyfriend and girlfriend. Police say they were busted together March 8 ransacking a backyard in the 700 block of Southwest 109th Avenue.
They’re each charged with three counts of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, three counts of trespassing of an unoccupied structure, two counts of petit theft and one for grand theft auto. Perez posted $29,000 bond on Friday.
Casas’ also was hit with five charges that come from the gold Ford Escort police say she bought under the name of a hairdresser whose driver’s license and credit cards she stole. Casas remains in jail on $40,000 bond.
Pedro Villares also found credit cards and identification elements, such as residency paperwork and passport, stolen. Villares can’t go to and from Cuba without them. Police want anybody who finds them to take them to the nearest police station.
Villares’ neighbor in the 10900 block of Southwest Seventh Street, Danilo Calzada, got his mother’s ashes back. Sweetwater police say Perez admitted the metal box with Raquel’s ashes was collected with the items he and Casas stole on two trips to the townhouse.
“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster,” Calzada said by phone Wednesday. “It’s a relief to get her back. You feel violated. You feel angry. But this is closure.”
Raquel died in their home under hospice care in 2009.
With the townhouses being razed for FIU student housing, Calzada had started to move.
“She would leave there on the last day, with me,” he said. “That’s why she was still there as we were in the process of moving.”
Until the metal box went with a white refrigerator and other things in two burglaries.
Calzada wondered what kind of people commit such a violation.
Illegal scavanger hustlers, according to what the incident report says Perez admitted.
Perez said they stole things — appliances, purses, jewelry — from Goodwill and Salvation Army drop boxes and quickly sold them using the Offer Up app or Craigslist. Such posts from Offer Up comprise Casas’ Facebook page.
Calzada’s refrigerator was sold before Perez talked to the police.
The metal box with the ashes? Those, the incident report claims he said, sat in a garbage pile on the corner of Southwest 48th Street and 93rd Court. That’s where police found them.
“It makes you believe in miracles,” Calzada said. “The police officer who gave them to me looked like he was choking up. It’s a feel-good story. I still feel violated. How can anybody do this?”