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"I regret, you know, having moved the Mexicans' stuff into the hallway," Kip Macy said. "I don't see how that was burglary, or theft, since I neither stole their stuff." He said he moved his building manager, Ricardo Cartagena's things because it was "garbage."
"I mean, basically, if some homeless person leaves stuff in your garage and you [throw] it away, are you guilty of grand theft?" Kip Macy said.
One tenant, Scott Morrow, stubbornly would not move out, which frustrated Kip and Nicole Macy. "Basically, Scott was sort of the ... one breaking point," Kip Macy said, claiming that Morrow made money off all the previous owners. "There wasn't actually any legal way of doing it right, since we had done everything right legally, and it hadn't worked," Kip Macy said. "That's when we started making bad decisions." Their "bad decisions" included cutting through the floorboards of Morrow's floor with a saw. "We harassed him a bit because [we] no longer had anything to lose," Kip Macy explained, saying he and Nicole Macy felt abandoned by the law. "He had parts of his floor cut out from underneath, also illegal, but whatever," Kip Macy said.
Eventually he and Nicole Macy were arrested at Kip Macy's parents' house in 2008 and released on $500,000 bond, for which Kip Macy's parents drained much of their retirement savings to pay. His mother Marie even sold her jewelry to help finance their release. Once free, Kip and Nicole Macy jumped bail, fleeing to Italy, leaving Kip Macy's father and mother, potentially at a loss of half a million dollars. With the clock ticking before the bail forfeiture deadline, Marie reached out to bailbondsmen, Geri Ito-Campana and Ron Lee to find Kip and Nicole, and get her money back. Gumshoe work by Geri, with Marie as her wing woman, led them to Kip's bank, where someone had information about where Kip was getting paychecks. This led the sleuths to an address in Florence, Italy. After several days with no luck, Ron Lee was ready to give up, until an unusual sight in the Italian city, a Chinese restaurant, encouraged him to pull out his camera and take a picture. At that moment, in his lens view was Kip and Nicole walking down the street. Days later, after a meticulous plan devised by Geri and Ron, Marie stood in an apartment building lobby, face-to-face at last with her fugitive son.
Kip and Nicole's Italian idyll was over. The district attorney had not sought extradition, so Geri took the pair to the U.S. Embassy. Ron shot photos of Kip and Nicole, with that day's newspapers, and an Italian cop ID'd them on an affidavit, all to ensure Marie could get her $500,000 back, as provided by law. "But then when it came ... to ask to have the bond exonerated, the district attorney agent said, 'well, we've changed our mind ... we've now decided to extradite,'" said Marie. The stunning switch required a different protocol for Geri to follow and the clock ran out. All appeals were denied. Marie says she followed the letter of the law to regain her bail money and for her troubles she was out half a million dollars.
San Francisco district attorney George Gascon disagrees. "They fled the jurisdiction. They fled the nation and that's really what the bottom line is," he said. In June, Kip Macy and Nicole Macy plead guilty to four felony counts, each receiving sentences of four years and four months in prison.
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