Lakeland woman tries to invoke "squatters rights," gets busted - WFLA News Channel 8

Lakeland woman tries to invoke "squatters rights," gets busted

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LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -

On Tuesday Polk County Sheriff's deputies arrested 31-year-old Stacey Ann Fuchs after she illegally moved into a Lakeland home.

Deputies say the investigation began at the end of March, when Cynthia Westley, who had reached an amicable foreclosure agreement with her lender and voluntarily vacated her home located at 6383 Tierra Vista Circle in Lakeland, noticed that the locks on the house had been changed (Westley made frequent visits to the home to maintain its upkeep).

On March 29, during a maintenance visit, Westley noticed the locks had been changed and unfamiliar items had been moved into the house.   Westley contacted PCSO after the lender told her they had not put installed the new locks on the house and had not given anyone permission to enter the residence.

Authorities say when deputies arrived at the home they made contact with 31-year-old Stacey Ann Fuchs of Lakeland.  Fuchs told the deputies that she had researched "Adverse Possession" on the Internet, and based on the information she found online, felt it was her right to move into the vacated home.  Authorities say Fuchs admitted to changing the locks on the house.  Deputies placed Fuchs under arrest and booked into the Polk County Jail on one count of Burglary and one count Grand Theft of  $100,000 or more.

"You just can't move into someone else's legally owned property. That's trespassing, burglary, and theft. There is no such thing as a free lunch, and we are going to arrest people who try this scam to steal homes in Polk County."  Said Sheriff Grady Judd

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