Homeowners say squatter who tried to sell their house is out on bond, back in the home
BATON ROUGE - Just four months after Richard Craven and his wife Kristen got rid of squatters in an unoccupied home, the pair is back at square one.
The couple inherited a quaint white brick home on Goodwood Boulevard near Sharp Road when Kristen's parents passed last year. In April, the Cravens told WBRZ they were planning to renovate and sell, but Joseph Guerin broke in and made himself at home.
Guerin managed to have utilities placed in his name and even changed the locks before he was arrested for unauthorized entry and taken to jail. Guerin was released on bond Monday and the Cravens say he is back to his old tricks.
"He got in there," Richard Craven said. "He saw it was empty, and he decided he's going to sell it for cash money. And he's just about accomplished that."
Last time around Guerin listed the house for sale online for $225,000. Now, a fallen over "For Sale" sign sits in the yard. The Cravens suspects it's happening all over again.
WBRZ went inside the house in April. Walls, appliances and original wood furniture were all painted over by the unwanted guests.
Richard Craven says he intended to remodel the home before squatters took over. Now, with holes in walls and work done that he says isn't quality, more fixes need to be made.
Richard says he called the police in April and officers said the dispute is a civil matter because Guerin had paperwork justifying his stay. That included property tax information.
"The police won't show me what paperwork he has," Richard Craven said. "I've told them whatever he has, has got to be forged."
Now, the couple is trying again to get Guerin out of the house.
"I'm not going to let a criminal to go bust in the house and take control, Craven said. "It's just as simple as that. So it's more than getting control. He's going. He's going to go."