Owner of car buried at Bay Area mansion had reported it stolen, collected $87,000 insurance payout
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SAN FRANCISCO — A former Bay Area mansion lost to thieves is now back on the market, thanks to a cash-filled envelope from insurance payouts.
Police released a photo of the mansion Monday.
It was on the market for about 10 years, and was listed at $2.5 million.
The house was discovered just after Christmas in the middle of a yard in the middle of San Francisco’s Presidio Hill, police said. It had been covered in Christmas lights.
Authorities said they believe the owners had reported it as stolen.
Owner Michael DeSantis, who had been living on the mansion with his family since 1986, said he was in shock when he first saw the house.
“You’re basically living in an empty house on the hill,” said DeSantis.
He bought the house, which was originally built in 1910, after his father and uncles died in a car crash. His father and uncle had owned the land where it was situated for 70 years.
DeSantis said he had spent thousands of dollars restoring the mansion and it had once doubled as an entertainment center.
“I lost everything,” DeSantis said.
He is selling the property because “our new (future) home is in the East Bay and we want to be very far.”
He said the house had never been listed for sale and had recently lost its listing status with realtor, and he felt “shocked, disappointed and shocked at the same time.”
He said he had no idea police took so long to investigate why he thought it had been robbed.
“This home had a value of at least $8 or $9 million,” he said.
The police investigation began around the time of Christmas.
DeSantis said the insurance claim process was incredibly difficult, and he has been working with an attorney to finalize it.