A squatter has “destroyed” a Louisiana couple’s lives after repeatedly breaking into their home and attempting to sell it, one of the homeowners told Fox News.
Richard and Kristen Craven first reported that people were illegally residing in their Louisiana home in April, and one of the alleged squatters, Joseph Guerin, was arrested and sent to jail for unauthorized entrance. After Guerin was released from custody Monday, the homeowners were alerted that he returned and that a for sale sign was in the yard, according to WBRZ.
“It has destroyed our lives,” Richard told Fox News. “It’s insane. I’m emotionally drained.”
The Cravens inherited the Baton Rouge property after Kristen’s parents died. They planned to renovate the home and put it on the market, but squatters took over in April and trashed it, WBRZ reported.
The homeowners drove by and saw a dumpster in the driveway. Richard started watching and saw people were going in and out. Concerns escalated when Guerin listed the home online for $225,000, WBRZ reported.
When the Cravens called the police, officers initially dismissed their concerns as a civil matter since the squatters had documents claiming ownership, according to WBRZ. But the squatters were eventually arrested and Guerin, who was already out on bond for similar charges, went to jail.
Once the Cravens were able to get inside the home, they saw their furniture, appliances and walls had all been painted, WBRZ reported. Holes were also in the walls.
The homeowners also found drug paraphernalia and empty liquor bottles scattered inside, according to WBRZ. Guerin had changed the locks and the utilities were in his name.
“He was selling drugs out of it. I mean, this is crazy,” Richard told Fox News. “The house is getting destroyed.”
HOW A SQUATTER NEARLY FORCED THIS COUPLE TO CANCEL THEIR WEDDING. WATCH:
Over four months later, Guerin has returned to the home. He asked a a realtor who lives nearby to sell the property, but after she questioned him, he said he’d try to get cash for it instead, according to Richard.
“He ain’t squatting in the house to try to keep the house and live in it,” Richard told Fox News. “He’s looking for money.”
Police told the Cravens they would be arrested if they tried to get back into the home, Richard said. Officers said Monday that Guerin again has documents allowing him to stay.
“I’m not going to let a criminal to go bust in the house and take control,” Richard told WBRZ. “It’s just as simple as that. So it’s more than getting control.”
“He’s going,” he added. “He’s going to go.”
Neither Geurin nor the Baton Rouge Police Department immediately responded to Fox News’ request for comment.