After settling in and using the homeowner’s vehicle to drive, as well as placing a PlayStation console in the bedroom, an accused squatter in Fort Myers, Florida, was taken into custody.
Emmanuel Pierre, 25, was taken into custody by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office last month after the homeowner noticed that the thermostat had been altered. Authorities claim that the homeowner’s primary residence is located outside of the state.
“This nightmarish encounter was made after the homeowner received notification from their home’s smart thermostat that the temperature inside the home was changed,” the sheriff’s office said.
According to the sheriff’s office, the homeowner conducted their own investigation and claimed to have seen Pierre driving the homeowner’s car and parking it at the home’s garage.
In order to prevent Pierre from taking the car and running, the homeowner blocked the driveway and dialled 911.
“Multiple neighbours” also came out and surrounded Pierre until deputies arrived, the Miami Herald reported.
It was allegedly discovered by the sheriff’s office that Pierre had “made himself at home using the homeowner’s car, cooking in their kitchen, and connecting a PlayStation device in the bedroom.”
He was accused of grand theft exceeding $750, grand theft of a motor vehicle, and burglary. The next court date for Pierre is November 27.
Like other states in the union, Florida has seen a high number of squatting incidents. One such incident occurred in September when a lady was apprehended for residing unlawfully in a multimillion-dollar home in Bonita Springs. When she was apprehended, the cops discovered her preparing a sandwich while dressed in the homeowner’s clothes.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office warned residents in its press release to not “let this homeowner’s worst nightmare happen to you.”
“Vacation Home Checks,” according to the sheriff’s office, allow locals to ask for “an increase in police patrols for your area, while you are away.”