‘Monster House’ owner pleads no guilt to theft charges
The former owner of a 16,000-square-foot mansion in Olivenhain accused of stealing $1 million worth of fixtures, appliances and other items from the bank-foreclosed home pleaded not guilty Tuesday to grand theft and vandalism charges.
Suzy Brown, 45, came to the Vista Courthouse after receiving a letter notifying her of the charges, said Deputy District Attorney Robert Eacret.
Brown was taken into custody and bail was set at $30,000. A bail review was set for Friday, Eacret said.
Brown moved out March 22, but the thefts were apparently not noticed until days later, according to sheriff’s officials.
Chevy Chase Bank, which owns the mansion that neighbors dubbed the “monster house,” reported last March 26 that someone had taken thousands of dollars worth of expensive fixtures, antique windows, appliances, toilets and other equipment from the home.
Defense attorney Robert Grimes said Brown has returned most of the property to the bank and to the house.
Brown, a retired electrical engineer, built the 15-bedroom, 17-bathroom, mansion for an estimated $13 million in 2004, with hopes of turning it into an upscale home for patients recovering from drug and alcohol addictions.
City officials shot down the idea when neighbors complained the house could not have more than six occupants because of zoning restrictions.
The home went into foreclosure Feb. 13.
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