A U.S. Army officer says a squatter moved into her DeKalb County home while she was serving on active duty, and now she can’t have him evicted.
She told Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Justin Gray that she found out when her real estate agent was making final preparations to sell the house.
“He’s not a tenant. He’s a squatter,” Lt. Colonel Dahlia Daure said.
There are ‘beware of dog’ signs in some windows and cardboard covering others at her Ellenwood home in DeKalb County.
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Daure says someone she’s never met moved in without her knowledge or permission, and now won’t leave.
“I was beside myself and I felt violated. Had I not been serving my country, I would have been in my home,” Daure told Gray.
Daure is full-time active-duty command staff with the U.S. Army Reserves and is stationed in Chicago.
She was renting out her metro Atlanta home, but after a $35,000 renovation, she put it up for sale.
“I got a cash offer. It was under contract,” she said.
That’s when Daure says Vincent Simon apparently moved in. Simon claimed he had a lease and that he’d paid $19,000 upfront for six months.
“The police call the number that’s on the lease. It doesn’t exist,” Daure said.
Daure went to the police and was told it was a civil matter.
This week she served Simon with eviction papers, but he has a right to respond and have the case heard by a judge.
“I can’t ask them to leave. I can’t put them out. The police can’t put them out. What justice is that?” Daure said.
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Channel 2 Action News learned that Simon has a long criminal history, including convictions for guns, drugs and theft charges.
Daure saw him moving giant safes into the house.
Gray went to the home multiple times to try to talk to Simon. He never answered the door.
Daure says the sale of the home appears to be off and all she can do now is wait for the eviction process to play out.
“I want to go shoot out the windows, turn off the water, cut wires, but I can’t. That’s a crime. Law-abiding citizens can’t do that,” Daure said.
Both DeKalb County police and an official private process server served Simon with eviction papers.
He now has seven days to respond and can request a trial before a judge, meaning the process could take several weeks or months.
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