BA Woman Returns From Vacation, Finds Suspected Squatters In Home
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma - Imagine coming home to find strangers living in your home, moving in all of their belongings and damaging your things as they do.
A Broken Arrow woman says that’s happened to her while she was on vacation. Crystal Taylor said strangers lived in her home for a week-and-a-half.
"It was awful. It looked like I was in some homeless shelter with mattresses everywhere," she said.
Neighbors told Taylor they saw a group of people forcing their way in through the garage in the middle of the night. She rushed home from Cabo to find the suspected squatters with all of their belongings moved in.
But Broken Arrow police didn't arrest anyone. Instead, they gave them all a warning for trespassing.
Taylor said, "It should be breaking and entering. They broke into my home, they crawled underneath the garage, they have vandalized my home. They have brought roaches and bedbugs into the house and nothing's being done."
Broken Arrow police said they couldn’t find any immediate evidence the group had broken in so they issued no citations. Officers said they're still investigating and could file charges later.
The suspected squatters showed officers a lease agreement, but Taylor thinks it's fake after she found a box of blank lease forms in the garage.
The so-called renters said they're victims too, claiming someone on Craigslist scammed them.
"I know it wreaks, it looks bad on us, but with the lease, we got Shanghaied,” said suspected squatter Dale Makins. “She's being nice enough to let us get our stuff. We'll go another place. We're gonna research the house before we even move in."
In the meantime, Taylor will likely have to pay thousands to repair her floors, walls and pool, which, she said the trespassers damaged.
"Speaker boxes had been ripped out of the walls. There were different paint marks on the wall, brand-new wood floors I had done before I left the house were all completely scratched up," said Taylor.