A Cincinnati man who was arrested for breaking into abandoned homes, changing the locks and claiming ownership has agreed to a plea bargain. According to WLWT, the man plead guilty to one count of breaking and entering rather than the three counts of breaking and entering and three counts of theft with which he was initially charged.
The man, Robert Carr, reportedly broke into several houses with the intent to claim the title, fix them up, rent them out, and profit from them. His case raised important questions about home ownership in the Cincinnati area, as well as what should be done with abandoned buildings and foreclosed-upon properties.
The house for which Carr pleaded guilty for breaking and entering, however, was being occupied by a family. Carr cleared their belongings from the house and filed a document with the Hamilton County Court in an attempt to gain ownership of the building.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Carr thought that he would be able to own the title for the houses he broke into.
“If you abandon something, you forfeit all your rights and title to it. And title is not a piece of paper. Title is when you grab it and say ‘mine,’” Carr said regarding his actions.
With his acceptance of the plea deal, Carr faces a maximum of one year in jail rather than 7.5 years.