Photo: ABC Video
After a month away, Sylvia Breakenridge returned to her home in Lauderhill, Fla. to find her keys no longer fit the lock and strangers living inside claiming it was theirs.Breakenridge, 51, told ABC News, “My keys couldn’t get in the house at all. Then I went to the back of the house. The window is broken in…I listened and I heard a TV and the AC is running, but nobody is supposed to be in the house. I went back to the front of the house and knocked constantly for five minutes.”
When someone finally came out, they told her they had every right to be there. “They were sleeping on my king size bed, [using] my television, my stereo set…another queen size bed,” she said.
Breakenridge said it took several weeks to get the intruders out after a judge first told her she needed to serve an eviction notice.
One of the women living in her home, Cheryl Heath, told ABC she had responded to a Craigslist ad by an agent claiming to be from “Dunbar Properties.” The new residents were using some of her furniture, but most of it was gone, including albums of personal photos.
“I signed a lease, and I got two receipts for September’s rent and for August — first, last and security. I gave him $2,400,” Heath told ABC.
Breakenridge said the lease was made out to Jim Smith and the receipt is for cash.
Police are investigating phone records, but no arrests have yet been made.
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