Man accused of breaking into dead neighbor's home

Woman's passing left home vacant
Posted at 6:26 PM, Jun 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-30 18:26:21-04

Anna Alfaro has lived on her street in Holiday for almost 30 years. And right next door, the whole time was her neighbor Alice.

“Very nice.Very lovely lady,” Anna said.

Alice was a long time teachers aide at Anclote Elementary. Rocky Alfaro also remembers her.

“Probably kindergarten, something like that. A while ago,” Rocky said.

But in March, at the age of 94, Alice died. 

“It’s hard. It’s very hard. Broke my heart,” said Anna.

Alice’s son is in New York, so the home was vacant. And that’s when the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said a neighbor who lives just a few houses down the block took advantage.

Deputies said they found Jacob Thomas inside the home early Friday morning. He broke in through a side window and was rummaging through a safe.

Investigators said he told them he picked the house at random, but they said he knew the homeowner had died leaving the place as a potentially easy target.

“It’s a vacant house. Think like a criminal? I’ll take advantage of it. Nice quiet neighborhood. No one will ever pay attention to me. No one will expect it. Boom! Rob that house,” said Rocky.

But thanks to another neighbor who called police, Thomas didn’t get away with anything. He’s being charged with burglary. 

The Aflaro’s feel pretty secure with their dog Lilly on guard. But this break-in on their quiet street has them thinking of more.

“Now we are considering a security system,” said Rocky.