Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Home Hijacking Suspect Pinched For Commandeering Vacant Homes, Renting Them Out To Unwitting Tenants

In Destin, Florida, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports:

  • A 40-year-old man has been charged with racketeering after he rented out vacant homes without the owners’ authorization, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.

  • William ‘Bill’ Richard Slattery III of Destin posed as a real estate agent to rent out at least five homes in Destin since last Nov. 23, according to his arrest report. The homes [...] either were abandoned and in foreclosure or were vacant, with the owners in other cities.

  • One renter said she met Slattery at the home on Harborwind Court and that he changed the locks and took her inside to look around before she signed a lease, the Sheriff’s Office reported. The home had been vacant for a long time and its owners were filing for bankruptcy.

  • Slattery was renting the homes for between $900 and $1,200 a month, his arrest report said. He was arrested Jan. 27 and charged with five counts of racketeering and five counts of posing as an unlicensed real estate broker, according to the report. He was released from the Okaloosa County Jail the next day. Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Michele Nicholson said deputies are still investigating the case. Additional charges are pending.

Source: Man charged with renting vacant homes illegally.

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