Shmira volunteer patrol group:
A scam occurring across the country that entails illegal home occupation has continued to hit the Crown Heights community. The perpetrators target vacant apartments and houses that are under construction or up for sale and rent. They then illegally settle in, and live there – rent free, until they get evicted.
It just occurred again: Squatters targeted a house on Brooklyn Avenue in Crown Heights in the latest incident that occurred just this Friday – the suspects had broken into a vacant house on Thursday night and had managed to bring furniture and other home supplies into the house overnight.
The homeowner, only after realizing the activity on his property Friday afternoon, immediately contacted Shmira and the police.
Shmira members and the police officers immediately located the squatters. When questioned, the squatters provided false lease documents claiming that they are renting the entire property. The squatters even managed to change the locks and receive an overnight priority mail addressed to one of their names as well.
After an extensive investigation by the police officers from the 77 Precinct and thorough work by Shmira members, the police decided to order the suspects to leave the property or they would be subject to arrest.
The best way to protect yourself is by having an alarm system, properly securing the property and installing proper security camera’s. Never keep a property vacant for too long or advertise it’s not occupied. As a reminder, you should be constantly checking up on your property.
In case of any emergency, do not hesitate to call Shmira @ 718-221-0303 and 911.