Friday, May 18, 2012

Orlando-Area Pair Feel Pinch On Burglary, Larceny, Fraud Charges For Allegedly Hijacking Possession Of Vacant F'closed Homes, Falsely Renting Them Out

In Winter Park, Florida, the Winter Park/Maitland Observer reports:

  • It was too easy, Randy Lutz said of his family’s cross-county move from Providence, R.I., to the Winter Park area. After a 1,200-mile drive, and a brief stay with his brother in Sanford, Lutz, his girlfriend, Contance Young, and their 6-year-old son, J.J., had found the perfect house near Winter Park listed for rent on in mid-February.
  • Less than two weeks after they had moved in, Young said, [...] they found out it all was too good to be true. The house had been foreclosed on and was owned by Bank of America.
  • Seminole County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Natasha Ortiz, 28, of Winter Park, and David Rivas, 27, of Orlando, on May 3 on charges of burglary, larceny and fraud, according to arrest reports, for allegedly breaking into and falsely renting two homes near Winter Park, including the one in which Young and Lutz were living.
  • Until this incident, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office said it hadn’t had any reported cases like this in recent history. [...] The Orange County Sheriff’s office couldn’t quantify how often these crimes are reported to them, but a public information officer said the department has seen an uptick in rental fraud crimes in the last six to eight months.

  • Representatives from the Winter Park and Oviedo police departments say neither city has a documented record of these crimes, but that it doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
For more, see Rental fraud hits home.

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