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Newmarket man seeks answers after everything removed from his home — except expensive items

Victim said thieves took toiletries, laundry but not television, laptop
2021-06-30-Cardozo theft-JQ
Mercello Cardozo said he was left homeless after thieves cleaned out his apartment and his landlord refused to let him reenter.

Mercello Cardozo came home to his Newmarket basement apartment to see a peculiar sight: his most valuable possessions, including a television and game console, had been placed out on the lawn without his knowledge.

He said he heard from a neighbour that a moving truck had loaded up most of his possessions while he was at work June 11. He called York Regional Police before entering his apartment, concerned someone might be inside. 

Police arrived and Cardozo said they found his entire apartment had been emptied of all its possessions. The lock to his place was also changed.

He said his landlords then refused to let him reenter the apartment.

“I don’t have anywhere,” Cardozo said. “I don’t have anything. They took everything. Everything that I worked to get.” 

York Regional Police confirmed officers attended the property for a landlord-tenant dispute and they are investigating allegations, but could not comment further.

Cardozo said it was strange. Almost everything was taken, including family photographs and other mementos, even though his most expensive possessions were left behind.

“Outside of the house, it’s my flat-screen TV, the XBox,” Cardozo said, adding his laptop was also left behind. “They wouldn’t steal my laundry. They wouldn’t steal my shampoo and my toothbrush. So the police said it can’t be a robbery.”

Cardozo said he had difficulties with his landlords and that he had planned to move soon. When the locks were changed, he could not re-enter the premises despite police intervention, he added.

Cardozo’s landlords confirmed they changed the locks after possessions were removed and said he had failed to pay rent for months. They said unknown people did come in a truck to remove the possessions, and they were under the impression Cardozo was aware of it after he did not immediately reply to a text and calls.

They declined to answer whether they let him back into the apartment after Cardozo said the moving truck was not there under his instruction. 

The situation has left Cardozo homeless. His mother and younger sister also lived and had possessions at the apartment, though they have an alternative lodging arrangement. He said whoever is responsible also took a new bike he had purchased for his sister.

“I’m having to start fresh,” he said. “My little sister, she’s going to have to start over again. It just sucks."

It is a low point for the family, just two years after another one. Cardozo said he went from student to breadwinner for them after his stepfather suddenly ran off, forcing them to move into the basement apartment.

“You stick by your family because those were the principles we were raised on,” he said. “This 25-year-old has gone through hell.”

Still, Cardozo said he hopes he can find a way through the difficult situation. He said he is cooperating with the police investigation, and there might be traffic footage of where the truck took his family’s possessions. 

“Even though (I’ve) gone through hell, (I have) a spirit to not give up,” he said. “To make sure (my sister) can still have a childhood.”