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For victims of 'landlords from hell,' home is where the hurt is

By Ed Payne, CNN
updated 2:31 AM EDT, Thu Jun 20, 2013

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Kip and Nicole Macy went to great lengths to try to evict tenants
  • The tried to make their apartment building structurally unsound
  • The couple pleads guilty to felony charges of residential burglary, stalking and attempted grand theft
  • They will be sentenced to more than four years in prison

(CNN) -- Think you have the landlord from hell? Think again.

Did they steal your stuff? Lock you out? Threaten you with a gun? Unless they did, they're not even in contention for the title.

Husband and wife, Kip and Nicole Macy, pleaded guilty to felony charges of residential burglary, stalking and attempted grand theft this week, after terrorizing tenants for years, the San Francisco District Attorney's Office said Wednesday.

"The actions of these defendants are so outlandish and brazen that it sounds like the plot line of a horror movie," District Attorney George Gascon said.

Kip and Nicole Macy so badly wanted to evict tenants from their apartment building in the South of Market district starting in 2006, court documents say, that they cut holes in the floor of one victim's living room with a power saw while he was inside his apartment.

"He actually saw the saw coming up and trying to saw through," Assistant District Attorney Kelly Burke told CNN affiliate KTVU.

The Macys also cut out sections of the floor joists.

Before making the cuts, Nicole Macy took the time to consult with a city building inspector to make sure she knew which beam to cut to make the building structurally unsound.

"They want to make it collapse," Ricardo Cartagena, a former property manager for the Macys, told affiliate KGO.

Kip Macy later bought a semiautomatic handgun and threatened to shoot Cartagena after he refused to cut the joists himself. The couple eventually changed the locks to Cartagena's apartment, removed all of his belongings and destroyed them, court records show.

Not done yet

Nicole Macy also created a couple of fraudulent e-mails accounts to stir up trouble.

In one, pretending to be one of the victims, she fired the attorney who was representing the victim in a civil case against the Macys.

From another e-mail account, Macy sent a message to her and her husband's civil attorneys, threatening to kidnap and dismember their children. In the e-mail, she pretended to be one of victims.

Over the course of two years, the Macys cut the victims' telephone lines, shut off their electricity, gas and water, court documents say.

Nicole Macy told workers to board up one victim's windows from the outside while he stilled lived there, and falsely reported trespassers in the victim's apartment, causing him and a friend to be held at gunpoint by a police.

They also broke into the units of three tenants, removing nearly all of their belongings. In a separate incident, the Macys soaked their beds, clothes and electronics with ammonia.

After being indicted by a grand jury in early 2009, the couple fled the country. More than three years later, Italian special agents apprehended them in May 2012 and returned them to the United States last month.

They will be formally sentenced in August in a plea deal that will send them to prison for four years and four months.

Cartagena said he was happy to hear that the couple would be going to prison.

"I feel happy," he told KTVU. "Finally there's justice coming."

CNN's Elwyn Lopez contributed to this report.

Article on CNN.com

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