Two accused of causing $26K in damage to home

Gene Newkirk

Gene Newkirk

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Two men are accused of causing roughly $26,000 worth of damage to a foreclosed home in Golden Gate.

A Collier County sheriff’s deputy passing by a home on the 100 block of 13th Street Northwest on Monday noticed a car in the driveway, although he knew the property to have been repossessed. He stopped the car and made contact with two men inside, Bryan Mathew Soloff, 24, and Gene Newkirk, 25.

The deputy found the lock on an exterior gate had been cut and the drywall inside the home had been smashed to get to copper plumbing and electrical wiring, according to an arrest report. An A/C unit, A/C coil, electrical box and water pump were missing.

A representative from a group that had purchased the foreclosure estimated the home was damaged to the tune of $26,000 and was not insured, deputies reported.

Inside the home, deputies said they found a sledgehammer, wire snips and other tools, as well as a backpack containing receipts naming Soloff from metal sales to a recycling company.

Newkirk initially denied being inside the home, but deputies found drywall dust on his shoes and sweatpants, reports said.

Soloff, who is listed as homeless in Golden Gate, faces charges of burglary with damage over $1,000, grand theft over $20,000, and failure to appear on a drug possession charge. Newkirk, also listed as homeless, faces charges of burglary with damage over $1,000 and grand theft over $20,000.

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