Squatter Tries to Move in Next to Stockton Vice Mayor

STOCKTON -- A woman accused of trying to squat in a vacant house for sale in Stockton was interrupted by the city's vice mayor who lived right next door.

"You picked the wrong house lady, number one," Vice Mayor of Stockton Christina Fugazi said.

Fugazi said Monday evening she saw a woman driving a silver Saturn view into her next door neighbor's driveway, towing a trailer full of stuff. Fugazi said she asked the woman what she was doing, and she said she paid rent and was moving in.

"So she proceeded to give her false story," Fugazi said.

Fugazi said her previous neighbor owned the home and lived next door for decades. She said they moved out less than a month ago. When she noticed the home still had a for sale sign and a lock box on the front gate, she decided to call the realtor.

"So I called her and I said is the house still for sale? And she said 'Oh, yes!' And I go, well someone's moving in. And she goes 'Oh no! I'm going to call the police and my son right away'," Fugazi said.

"They were already taking off the door knobs and trying to change the locks," Kyle Tapley said.

Tapley is a transaction coordinator with Carrington Real Estate Services, the company listing the home in Midtown Stockton.

Tapley said he watched from the street as the woman entered the home with eight bags full of groceries, and starting hanging curtains.

"I heard knocking on the wall and saw her trying to put drapes on the window, and she was able to for a while, before police got here," Tapley said.

Tapley and Fugazi said when police showed up the woman told them she had a lease for the house and that she didn't have a key to the door because her roommate locked her out. Tapley argued that the woman did not have any such lease, that she was trespassing on bank-owned property and squatting.

"They were like there's nothing we can do. It's her word against yours, Fugazi said.

Stockton Police said ultimately, the woman was not charged with any crime. However, Fugazi said the next morning, that woman moved her thing back out of the home and left. In the process of doing so, Fugazi snapped several pictures of her and posted them to Facebook.

"This same group has done this to other people, When I posted it to Facebook, other people commented saying that," Fugazi said.

Fugazi showed FOX40 where she said that woman destroyed part of her shared fence while backing her loaded trailer out of her driveway.

Tapley told FOX40 it's a scheme he's seen before. He said he and his mother had to give squatters at different properties cash for keys to get them to leave. He said the last time it happened the paid a squatter $5,000 in cash to leave a property.

Tapley said Stockton Police told him to file a 30-day no trespassing notice on the property to protect it from happening again.

"That way, if somebody comes to the property and they're trying to squat, I can call Stockton PD and have them arrested on the spot because they're trespassing," Tapley said.

The home next door to Fugazi now has a no trespassing notice posted.