Handmade guitar among damaged items in burglary

400-GOMEZ-JAMES-CLARENCESt Augustine Police Officer Alina Shirshikova was called to an apartment located on Marine Street at 2:21 yesterday morning to investigate the report of a burglary; where the victim says he came home to find the intruder walking out of his home, according to a report received by Historic City News today.

The victim told police that he knew the man, said to be 21-year-old James Clarence Gomez, who resides on King Arthur Court in St Augustine, because, about a year ago, and at some times since, but only when the resident was at home, he allowed Gomez to come over to his apartment.

The victim told Officer Shirshikova that Gomez did not live there, did not have a key, and did not have permission to enter his residence when he was not there.

According to the victim, when he approached his house, he saw an empty cardboard box in the street that he recalled placing behind his fence when he left. He also saw interior lights inside his apartment were turned on, and a piece of decorative railing was torn off and thrown on the ground from the fence.

The victim said he confronted Gomez when he saw him coming out of the apartment, asked what he was doing inside his house without his permission, and asked how he gained entry. According to the victim, Gomez appeared intoxicated. Gomez responded by saying, “I thought you let me in”, according to the police incident report.

The victim entered his apartment and Gomez followed him inside. When he discovered the extent of the damage to his personal property, he says he told Gomez to leave his house “because he was calling the police”.

Gomez was already gone by the time Officer Shirshikova arrived, so, together, the victim and officer took inventory and photographed the damaged items at the apartment and evidence was collected from the crime scene.

• Street light was torn off from the wall and wires were hanging from it,
• One wooden railing on the fence was broken off and laying on the ground,
• Another railing was still in its place — but was broken,
• Front door was damaged and did not close,
• There was a hole in the wall behind the front door,
• A bicycle and several fishing rods inside the house were laying on the floor,
• One rod was damaged,
• Upstairs, another hole in the wall was located in the kitchen area,
• Damage to two shelves inside the refrigerator

A handmade “augustino loprezni” classical guitar, inside a guitar case, appeared to have been struck against the wall. Police say they observed black marks on the white wall, and also white paint transfer on the black guitar case. The guitar inside the case was cracked as was a barometer that was damaged due to the impact.

Total damages caused by the intruder were estimated to be more than $1,000.

The screen on one window located by the balcony was taken out. The resident believed he might have left that window unlocked. The report surmises Gomez gained entry to the residence by climbing over the fence, onto the balcony, and entered through the unlocked window.

The report was forwarded to the state attorney for review, to determine if charges will be brought against the intruder.

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