A Florida woman was arrested after allegedly moving into a multimillion-dollar home in Bonita Springs while the owners were away.
According to a police report from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, deputies first responded to the home in the upscale Bonita Beach area around noon last Monday after a maintenance worker encountered some suspicious activity there.
The worker said he went to check up on things at the Gulf Coast home, but could not open the front door with the key. He then used the digital keypad to gain access and noticed a suitcase by the front door and heard a dog barking. The man immediately contacted the owners, who said there should not have been anyone or any animals inside, so he called 911.
Deputies met with the witness and walked inside the house, where they saw the 54-year-old suspect in the kitchen “eating a sandwich” and wearing an $180 Athleta dress that had been hanging in the master bedroom closet, the police report says.
The woman insisted that she lived there and produced paperwork to show that she had recently purchased the residence, but the papers were found to be falsified.
“There were three different pieces of paper With ‘Certlficate of Ownership,’ all of which had the same notary stamp,” said the report. “None of the documents presented were an official deed or biII of sale. Nor did any documents have the proper state seal on them.”
The Fort Myers woman was arrested on larceny, fraud and burglary charges and held on $21,500 bond; it’s unclear how she got in in the first place, as deputies found no sign of forced entry. Deputies note she did later admit to taking the Athleta dress and offered to pay the owner back.
Neighbors were shocked by the brazen incident.
“I don’t know where she thought she was going to stay or how long she thought she was going to stay because all these houses have people that check in them all the time,” Bruce Broskie told NBC 2.