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Video: Cops actually arrest owner of $1 million home for changing locks on squatter, charge her with unlawful eviction
Image source: YouTube screenshot

Video: Cops actually arrest owner of $1 million home for changing locks on squatter, charge her with unlawful eviction

Cameras were rolling when police arrested the owner of a $1 million home in New York City for changing the locks on a squatter and charged her with unlawful eviction, WABC-TV reported Monday.

"It's not fair that I, as the homeowner, have to be going through this," Adele Andaloro told the station.

What are the details?

WABC said Andaloro inherited her family's home in Flushing, Queens, after her parents passed away — and she was in the process of selling it when she noticed the front door and lock had been changed.

Turns out squatters moved into her home in February and refused to leave, she told the station.

"I'm really fearful that these people are going to get away with stealing my home," Andaloro added to WABC.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

In New York, squatters have rights after 30 days, the station reported.

"By the time someone does their investigation, their work, and their job, it will be over 30 days, and this man will still be in my home," Andaloro complained to WABC.

The station said its crew was with Andaloro when she went to her property and witnessed a woman walking up to the house, unlocking the door, and leaving.

Andaloro decided to enter the property with her daughter — and her property deed in hand, WABC said.

"This is proving everything I said," Andaloro told the station as she entered her home's main room. "This is my furniture, these are my curtains."

'Who are you, sir? Get out of my house'

Then she found two men inside her home, WABC reported.

"Who are you, sir? Get out of my house," Andaloro said to one man sleeping in a bedroom as cameras rolled.

WABC said it asked one of the men how long he'd been there, and he replied, "I moved in two days ago." The station said the second man refused to answer questions.

But they did call police on Andaloro, WABC noted, adding that she in turn called a locksmith.

"We didn't come in illegally," Andaloro also said, according to the station. "The door was open."

When police arrived, they began interviewing the men and neighbors, and they asked for documents, WABC said.

"Do you have something that shows you've been here more than 30 days?" one officer asked the men, according to the station.

Sure enough, the men failed to provide police with documentation, and WABC said officers escorted both of them off the property.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Image source: YouTube screenshot

But police also had a warning for Andaloro about changing the locks, the station said, adding that it's against the law in New York to turn off utilities, change locks, and remove belongings of someone claiming to be a tenant.

"I may end up in handcuffs today if a man shows up here and says I have illegally evicted him," Andaloro told WABC. "I said, 'Let him take me to court as I've been told to take him to court' because today I'm not leaving my house."

'He can't be kicked out'

Just a few minutes after police left and the locks were changed, a man who claimed he was leasing the house showed up with one of the men officers had just escorted off the property — and they pushed through the front door, the station said.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

"Do you see this this guy just literally broke down my door, broke through myself and my daughter," Andaloro told WABC as cameras continued rolling.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

When the cops showed up a second time, it was bad news for Andaloro.

"He can't be kicked out," police told her, according to the station. "You have to go to court."

Image source: YouTube screenshot

WABC said police consider it a landlord-tenant issue and that the law states the dispute has to be handled through housing court and not with police.

The kicker? The station said because Andaloro changed the locks, police arrested her for unlawful eviction.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

More from WABC:

When Eyewitness News asked Brian Rodriguez, the man who claims to have a lease, for documentation he provided none. Instead, he showed bills for work he claimed he had done to the house. He said he moved into the home a few months ago and signed documents with a realtor but wouldn't say who that realtor is.

"You got to go to court and send me to court," said Rodriguez. He said he'll leave "if she pays me my money that I put in the house," said Rodriguez. "Pay me the money, and I'll leave, or send me to court; it's that simple."

But the station said such disputes are anything but simple, and that the Rent Stabilization Association said it takes an average of 20 months to resolve eviction cases in New York City.

As for Andaloro, she told WABC her only option now is to open an eviction filing in landlord-tenant court.

Squatter standoff captured on camera in Queensyoutu.be

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Dave Urbanski

Dave Urbanski

Sr. Editor, News

Dave Urbanski is a senior editor for Blaze News and has been writing for Blaze News since 2013. He has also been a newspaper reporter, a magazine editor, and a book editor. He resides in New Jersey. You can reach him at durbanski@blazemedia.com.
@DaveVUrbanski →