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Georgia police remove squatters allegedly occupying home since Christmas

South Fulton, Georgia police put a stop to a group of squatters who allegedly moved into a vacant home on Christmas last year.

FOX 5 in Atlanta reported that the South Fulton Police Department pulled up to the home on Caveat Court, which was supposed to be vacant, in large numbers before detaining six individuals and recovering a stolen vehicle.

The home is located in Hampton Oaks, and the station spoke with the homeowner association’s vice president, Kendra Snorton, who claimed the group moved into the vacant home on Christmas Day.

“The ringleader, we see him walking his dog all the time. He’s very courteous and polite when he interacts with the community,” Snorton said.

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The president of the HOA, Mel Keyton, told the station individuals in the group broke into another home in the subdivision, stole a car and returned to the home they had been occupying for months.

“When the police showed up, the car was behind us in the yard. That’s how we put two and two together,” Keyton said.

She also explained that squatters frequent the neighborhood, making it dangerous.

“They use our amenities. They walk through the neighborhood. They break into houses,” she said.

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Snorton also said it makes her feel uneasy not knowing who is living among them.

South Fulton is located about 20 miles southwest of Atlanta.

Last month, Gov. Brian Kemp, R-Ga., signed a bill making squatting a crime in Georgia.

In an interview with “Fox & Friends,” Kemp said the Georgia Squatter Reform Act would allow property owners to go after squatters for damages, in addition to speeding up the eviction process.

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“Unfortunately, bad actors have figured out ways to take advantage of this, exploit, really the process that goes through the local government,” Kemp said. “So, we’re passing legislation that I’m going to sign right after this interview to stiffen the penalties, to go after these folks, to also speed up the eviction process. But, also, allow the property owner to go after these squatters for damages.” 

Gov. Ron DeSantis. R-Fla., also passed a bill in Florida that eliminates squatters’ rights in March. 

A real estate agent previously told Fox News that one squatter in Atlanta, Georgia, sold appliances.

“The last incident that I had, there was a squatter there who totally destroyed the place,” Kesha Chedeaux, a real estate agent and one of the squatters’ victims, told Fox News’ Lawrence Jones in February. 

“One has went to jail. They sold the appliances from the property and received money for them. Selling appliances, [there’s] feces everywhere, [they’re] sleeping in the beds because these properties are staged on the market.”

The real estate agent said any attempts to remove squatters from the properties they’re occupying are dangerous, adding that the people occupying these homes illegally are doing it without fear.

Fox News Digital’s Hanna Panreck and Taylor Penley contributed to this report.

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