Although stealing a house may not be the easiest of maneuvers, that didn’t stop Florida woman Marlene Baptise from trying.
The 39-year-old Lauderhill resident reportedly spotted a house that she wanted to own, and proceeded to forge documents that signed over the house to her. Then, she hired a locksmith to change the locks in her new home, much to the surprise of the current tenant.
Baptise was eventually arrested and charged for grand theft.
Surveillance footage shows Baptise turning in the forged documents in October, according to the Sun-Sentinel. The deed had the fake signature of Christine Fowler, who is currently renting the home from the actual owner, Sam Jazayri. Neither Fowler nor Jazayri know Baptise.
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The residence is a spacious 4,822 square foot home with five bedrooms, four baths, a columned porch and a swimming pool. The house is currently worth $948,755, according to the real estate site Zillow, and costs around $4,000 a month to rent.
Florida has fallen victim to quite a few squatter incidents recently, the most notable of which was two months ago when Andre “Loki Boy” Barbosa took over a $2.5 million waterfront home in Boca Raton for six months.
According to Florida’s adverse possession law, people can claim an abandoned property as their own if they have been living there for seven years and paid taxes on it during that time.
Source: Daily Mail