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Police in Washington state uncovered a disturbing squatting scam involving a man who allegedly fraudulently moved into a home he was hired to renovate, leading police to discover he was not actually a contractor, but a wanted suspect accused of raping a minor in Idaho. 

“If you’re having work done on your business or home, please take the extra time to vet your contractor. If [they] seem fishy, they likely are,” the Kent Police Department posted to Facebook about the matter. 

Police said officers were dispatched to a home in Kent on Friday over reports that a hired contractor had changed the home’s locks and was reportedly illegally living in the residence. 

“The home owners had hired a contractor for an extensive home remodeling project, which had been ongoing for a while. About 10 days ago they discovered that the contractor had changed the door locks, and was refusing entry to the owners. The owners had tried several times to access the property but were denied,” police said. 

SQUATTER’S TIFF WITH MOTEL STAFF TURNS DEADLY WHEN OWNER CALLS POLICE

Four members of the police department attempted to make contact with the suspect, as well as a 35-year-old woman who was also allegedly living in the home. The woman was identified as the suspect’s girlfriend and originally from the town of Yelm, which is located about 50 miles south of Kent. 

CONVICTED ‘SERIAL SQUATTER’ MAY HAVE SCHEMED HER LAST ILLEGAL STAY AFTER LANDLORD FIGHTS BACK

Handyman pulling up floor boards

The couple repeatedly refused commands to come to the front door or participate in any form of communication with the officers, police said. 

Officers obtained the homeowner’s permission to enter the home and were able to arrest the two individuals. 

“But there is more….” the police department said in the press release before explaining the alleged contractor was actually a man wanted in Idaho for the rape of a minor. 

SQUATTER DRESSED IN OWNER’S CLOTHES, RAIDED FRIDGE IN RITZY BEACH HOUSE: POLICE

“The contractor initially lied about his name, but using a fingerprint scanner he was identified as a 45 year old man from Idaho, who had a $500,000.00 warrant for rape of a minor,” the department said. 

Flyer from police on recent arrest

Kent PD searched the home and found the pair had moved their personal belongings onto the property, including a shotgun with no serial number and a trailer on the driveway with a stolen license plate. 

“This is an unusual incident.  However, it is a good reminder to do your research and have reference checks vetted when hiring individuals,” Assistant Police Chief Jarod Kasner told Fox News Digital of the incident. 

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The male suspect was charged as a Fugitive from Justice, and hit with a Criminal Trespass 1 charge, a gross misdemeanor in Washington. He is being held in the King County Jail awaiting extradition to Idaho. 

The female suspect was also charged with Criminal Trespass 1 and booked at the local jail. 

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