Police in Washington state discovered an unsettling squatting scheme involving a man who had purportedly moved into a house he was engaged to restore. Investigating further, they learned the man was not a contractor but rather a wanted suspect who was charged with raping a kid in Idaho.
“If you’re having work done on your business or home, please take the extra time to vet your contractor. If [they] seem fishy, they likely are,” the Kent Police Department posted to Facebook about the matter.
According to the police, a hired contractor allegedly changed the locks on the house and was living there illegally on Friday. As a result, authorities were called to the Kent household.
“The homeowners had hired a contractor for an extensive home remodelling project, which had been ongoing for a while. About 10 days ago they discovered that the contractor had changed the door locks, and was refusing entry to the owners. The owners had tried several times to access the property but were denied,” police said.
Four police officers tried to get in touch with the suspect and a 35-year-old lady who was also supposedly residing in the house. The woman was revealed to be the girlfriend of the suspect and was hailed from Yelm, a town roughly fifty miles south of Kent.
According to the police, the pair consistently disregarded orders to come to the front door or engage in any kind of conversation with the cops.
With the homeowner’s consent, officers were able to enter the house and take the two people into custody.
The police department clarified in the news statement that the supposed contractor was actually a guy wanted in Idaho for the rape of a minor, adding, “But there is more….”
“The contractor initially lied about his name, but using a fingerprint scanner he was identified as a 45-year-old man from Idaho, who had a $500,000.00 warrant for rape of a minor,” the department said.
Upon conducting a check of the residence, Kent Police discovered that the couple had transferred their goods onto the land, including a caravan with a stolen number plate on the driveway and a shotgun without a serial number.
“This is an unusual incident. However, it is a good reminder to do your research and have reference checks vetted when hiring individuals,” Assistant Police Chief Jarod Kasner told Fox News Digital of the incident.
The male suspect was charged with Criminal Trespass 1, a gross misdemeanour in Washington, and listed as a Fugitive from Justice. While awaiting extradition to Idaho, he is being detained at the King County Jail.
Along with being charged with Criminal Trespass 1, the female suspect was also booked into the local jail.