Alleged Lakeland squatter arrested - FOX 13 News

Alleged Lakeland squatter arrested

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Photo courtesy PCSO. Photo courtesy PCSO.
LAKELAND (FOX 13) -

Deputies in Polk County say they've arrested a woman who moved into a foreclosed home with the apparent goal of taking ownership of it.

Last month, A Lakeland resident noticed that the locks had been changed on the Tierra Vista Circle home she used to live in. She had reached an amicable foreclosure agreement with her lender but had been visiting the house to make sure it was in good shape.

When she noticed strange new belongings in the home, she called deputies. They found Stacey Ann Fuchs living at the house. The 31-year-old allegedly told them she had researched "adverse possession" on the internet, and, based on the information she found online, felt it was her right to change the locks and move into the vacated home.

Deputies disagreed. Fuchs was arrested on one count of burglary and one count grand theft.

It's PCSO's second such arrest recently. In March, they arrested Lessie Hurd, 40, under similar circumstances.

"You just can't move into someone else's legally owned property. That's trespassing, burglary, and theft," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a release about the arrests. "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."

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