SAN ANTONIO – She just wanted her air conditioning fixed. Instead, a south side great-grandmother was allegedly robbed blind by her apartment's new maintenance worker.
Henry Buentello, 61, is now charged with stealing from an elderly person.
Police say Buentello said he was sorry but the victim, 81-year-old Estela Gonzaba, says his apology is not accepted.
She says she feels violated inside the only home she's known for more than 30 years.
When her air conditioning broke in late August, the Union Park Apartments sent its newest maintenance man to fix it.
A police report shows Buentello checked the unit but didn't fix it that day.
About a month later, Gonzaba noticed several items were missing from her jewelry box, including her wedding ring.
She made a police report and went to apartment managers, who discovered the extra key to her unit was missing.
Gonzaba had the locks changed while police tracked down her jewelry at several nearby pawn shops.
Officers traced the crimes to Buentello, who initially said all he did was fix the AC, but later admitted to being the thief.
The police report says Buentello sent Gonzaba a letter apologizing for what he did but she says so far, she hasn't heard a word from him and is furious her sentimental pieces are still missing.
Gonzaba no longer feels safe at home and wants to get an alarm to lock out potential thieves.
She hopes apartment managers all over town will hear her story and promise to do a better job of checking the backgrounds of new employees.