Six Squatters detained in Atlanta suburb after allegedly stealing a neighbor’s car

May 5, 2024 | Political News

On Saturday, six suspected squatters were arrested in South Fulton, Georgia, after allegedly stealing a neighbor's car, and it was discovered the home they were found in was supposed to be vacant.

According to Fox 5, the home, located just outside of Atlanta in the Hampton Oaks community, was left vacant and the alleged squatters began living there on Christmas Day 2023.

Hampton Oaks Homeowners Association Vice President Kendra Snorton told the outlet, “The ringleader, we see him walking his dog all the time.” She added, “He’s very courteous and polite when he interacts with the community.”

The HOA President Mel Keyton said the group had stolen a vehicle from another neighbor's home and returned to where they were living. “When the police showed up, the car was behind us in the yard. That’s how we put two and two together,” he said.;

“It’s dangerous,” Keyton added. “They use our amenities. They walk through the neighborhood. They break into houses.”

Snorton said, “Not knowing who’s living amongst us, it really makes you feel uneasy, and you just don’t feel safe. You don’t feel safe.”

In recent months, squatting gained a significant amount of attention for incidents around the country of property owners being unable to evict people who had taken residence in their property. On April 24, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed the Georgia Sqautter Reform Act into law in an effort to protect homeowners.

In a statement at the bill signing, Kemp said, “It's very frustrating for people that are having this happen. I mean, we have had laws on the book like a lot of other states have had.” he noted, “The problem is the squatters have figured out ways to circumvent the law, either because locally appointed judges are not moving the process along, which has been a problem in our state.”

Kemp said the bill would give “property owners the ability to go after the squatters who work here, going after their pocketbook just like these homeowners are getting hit.”