General Crime

Pair Arrested In Walnut Creek For Allegedly Stealing Homeowner’s Identity And Squatting In Home

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A man and woman were arrested for allegedly squatting in an unoccupied Walnut Creek home after stealing the identity of the former owner to create a fake lease, police said today. Officers were called Monday to a home on Sugarloaf Court on a report of people living in an unoccupied house, police said. On Monday, someone who had been hired by the homeowner to work on the house found a broken door and several people who were living there, Sgt. Mike McLaughlin said. Police were called to the house and officers spoke with the people inside. The occupants presented officers with what was later determined to be a fraudulent lease for the home, police said. Investigators later learned that the occupants had used the homeowner’s identity to create the fake lease, according to police. During their investigation, the occupants were also believed to be in possession of assault weapons in the house, police said.

Police said they then obtained a search warrant was for the house and arrest warrants for the four occupants. Officers arrested two of the occupants, identified as 30-year-old Sydney Jones, Jr. and 22-year-old Natalie Neith on suspicion of burglary, forgery and trespassing and took them to county jail. Police also located an assault rifle inside the house, and investigators are trying to determine who it belongs to, McLaughlin said. The other two suspects remain outstanding and police are not releasing their names. McLaughlin said the homeowners are local residents who appeared to be having work done on the home before putting it up for sale.

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