There is an interesting phenomenon developing in California where the foreclosure of mansions is leading to an outbreak of squatters who boldly move in and refuse to vacate. Neighbors say that Dawud Walli is one such man.
Witnesses say that Walli alternates between driving a Mercedes or a luxury SUV and lived openly in a foreclosed mansion.
They say that he threw large noisy parties and never tried to hide his occupancy. Police say that Walli told them that he has a lease but the foreclosed owner Thomas Felix says that this is not true.
What is curious about the article below is that the police did not arrest Walli and reportedly told neighbors that most of these people get away with this form of trespass.
In Walli’s case, the police say that they would not charge him because he moved out. Why? Obviously, by not arresting such people, police are facilitating such criminal conduct. This has been a problem in Europe but the United States has generally more strict laws on squatting.
One problem is that in California this is generally treated as a misdemeanor. However, it is also possible to charge fraud and other crimes since habitual squatters often produce falsified leases. It is bizarre to me to read police simply dismissing such crimes if squatters finally move out. What is clear is that not bringing charges fuels this expanding criminal conduct.