A Montana real estate agent was captured on video screaming in horror after being started by a possible squatter while she was showing a property to prospective tenants.
Billings real estate agent Alyssa Webb, a five-year veteran of the industry, was showing a house over the phone via video when she turned a corner and came face-to-face with the intruder, KULR-8 TV reported.
“It was really scary to know someone was there the entire time I was in that house, and they didn’t try to leave or announce their presence, and they were just hiding,” Webb told the outlet.
“I didn’t know what they were capable of, if they had weapons, if they might have attacked me.”
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Billings Police Lt. Matt Lennick provided the outlet with a few tips for people who are visiting a new location where squatters could be present.
“When you’re approaching a residence or business or something where you might be the only one going in, it’s important to notice what’s going on,” Lennick said. “Is the door jarred, is it unlocked or should it be locked, are windows broken or are the screens moved.”
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“If you see something like that, it’s best to just wait out and call us, and we will send officers over,” he added.
Lennick told Fox News Digital that squatting does happen “occasionally” in Billings but “rarely in a residence that is attempting to be sold or is lived in.”
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Lennick said the individual may have been in the process of a burglary rather than squatting but fled as soon as the realtor saw him.
“He was not located and the owner of the property, victim of the burglary, declined to pursue criminal charges and did not want officers to investigate the matter any further,” Lennick said.
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Squatting has become a prevalent issue all across the United States in recent years, with homeowners often stuck in a lengthy legal process where the hands of police are tied due to policies preventing them from determining if paperwork is valid or not.