The alleged victims of former trailer park manager Louisa Martinez Alvarez said they want refunds, rather than revenge, now that she has been arrested.
The 36-year-old former manager of the Lake Village mobile home park is accused of keeping more than $13,000 that residents paid in rent, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
The case had been under investigation since July 2012, the affidavit stated.
Martinez Alvarez was arrested Tuesday on a charge of misapplication of fiduciary funds.
The affidavit stated that Bexar County Sheriff’s investigators believe Martinez Alvarez used the tenant’s rent money for herself.
It stated that, among other things, they believe she altered one money order to pay her own “hot check account," and another to pay her husband’s child support bill.
Although investigators said they found stolen money orders totaling more than $13,000, the trailer park owner believes the total is closer to $20,000, the affidavit stated.
However, Roger Riggs said he is aware of many neighbors who lost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
Frank Valenzuela said he has a receipt, signed by Martinez Alvarez, showing he paid her more than $500 dollars in cash.
“She gave me a receipt, and there she signed it,” he said, waving the document. “And I tried to tell the (park) owner she signed it, but he said, ‘I don’t have anything to do with that.”
Now, Valenzuela said, he must come up with a way to pay the owner the missing money. He said the theft has caused him to fall behind on his rent.
Brenda Marquez, meanwhile, said she lost nearly $1,000 after paying her rent and deposit to Martinez Alvarez.
She showed copies of the money orders, which, according to the affidavit, appeared to have been altered.
“If the lease is not valid, she should just return the money she stole from us,” Marquez said in Spanish.
Like her, other neighbors said although they’re glad to learn Martinez Alvarez has been arrested, what they’d like even more is to have their money back in their hands.
Martinez Alvarez posted bond Wednesday and said she disputes the charges against her.