Walnut Creek police raid home squatters took over

July 18, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Walnut Creek police raided a multi-million-dollar house Thursday night. Police say squatters had moved into the lavish home.

The SWAT team came through the garage and made their way into the house from there. They had arrest warrants for five people, but police only found and arrested two. Three people are still out there.

The reason police raided the house is because an elaborate scam was taking place in this multi-million dollar home. The house is for sale and has been empty for a few weeks. The owner came by recently and realized the locks had been changed. And a man came to the door saying he was renting the house and had a lease. The owner went to the police to report the trespassers.

"During that period that it was vacant, several individuals broke into the residence and set up a situation where it appeared they had a lease agreement and essentially they were squatting here," said Walnut Creek Police Lt. Steve Gorski.

"Bunch of SWAT people they were making announcements for about 45 minutes, which might be protocol, to let the people know they were coming in. 'Come out with your hands up,'" said Marty Meier, a neighbor.

This was considered a high-risk situation because police did background checks on the alleged renters and found out some were on probation and had a history of drug possession and illegal weapons possession.

Two people were arrested outside of the house. One of those men was armed. Inside the house, police found an assault weapon.

Thursday night some repair crews were doing some light work inside the home.

Prior to this raid, police went out to the home once before and even talked to a man who came to the door. The man told the police he was a renter and actually showed them his fake lease and then police left thinking that it was all legitimate.


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