It’s a Squatter’s Market. Nightmare on North L Street


randy2

Randy being evicted in January

By now we all know that as far as real-estate is concerned, it’s a buyer’s market. Well here in Lake Worth it appears that it’s a squatter’s market.

As I was driving home this afternoon I noticed my friend standing at the corner of the alley that runs behind my house. I pulled over to ask her what she was up to. She told me that Randy was trespassing on the property next to my house again and that she had called the Sheriff’s Deputies.  Randy is one of the people who was staying in the house before everyone was evicted in January.

sm1I parked and got my camera and went to wait for the police with my friend. While we were waiting she told me of three more recent incidents of squatters in a one block area around our homes. It seems that with the number of vacant, abandoned and foreclosed sm2houses, squatters have their pick of where to setup housekeeping.

Randy left before the Sheriff’s Deputy arrived and he explained he had to be caught in the act of trespassing in order to be arrested.  We found that Randy had forced open the gate and there was sm3bedding, clothing and other belongings scattered about.

We told the Deputy that Randy had been caught in the act many times and he had been given warnings and court appearances for doing so. The Deputy expressed his frustration, having already arrested Randy on numerous occasions only to see him back on the streets before his shift was over.  The Deputy said he was on bike patrol tonight and would cruise the alley since Randy had left his belongings there and will likely return.

I have lost count how many times I have had to call the Sheriff’s department about this property and I am sure that this situation is being repeated all over the city.  There are cities that have sought out stimulus money to start programs that purchase and provide incentives to restore abandoned and foreclosed properties. We need to pursue a course of action to do this sort of thing here in Lake Worth.

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