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Neighbors say Seattle squatter-stalker still not caught

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

A woman selling a house in Seattle last week found her life turned upside-down by a squatter who, she said, refuses to stay away from her property and believes the house is his own.

And a week after the squatter first showed up, far from being caught, the man has continued to harass and frighten not just Lisa, the home seller, but her neighbors as well.*

RELATED: Squatter complaints on the rise in Seattle 

On Thursday, the Dori Monson Show spoke with Lisa’s brother, Brian, who said that due to a lack of response from police, he and Lisa’s neighbors were going to take justice into their own hands and find the man who has been antagonizing his sister. Dori urged Brian to stand down. Later that day, Lisa told Dori that the Seattle Police Department had reached out to her and promised to find the squatter.

Four days after that optimistic conversation, however, Brian said that the situation has only gotten worse. The squatter, who last week went around to neighbors’ homes pretending to be pest control in order to gain entry, now is trespassing in the backyards of elderly homeowners on Lisa’s street.

“He showed up and was creeping through the neighbor’s backyard,” Brian said.

Later it was found that the man was posting photos he had taken from the neighbor’s backyard on his Facebook page.

Brian said that the SPD showed up at the scene fairly quickly, but that the man was gone. Overall, he believes that, considering the resources at their disposal, police could be doing more to help.

“They haven’t been very communicative with my sister throughout this — anytime that she wants updates or answers, she’s having to call them and get a hold of them,” he said. “The guys in the field have been great … but it’s just not enough.”

SPD sent a statement to the Dori Monson Show on Monday saying that the department would send out extra patrols to find the squatter. According to police, officers had visited the neighborhood on Friday afternoon and had spoken with the homeowners about their needs.

“It’s not as easy as just logging into Facebook and finding out where someone is at any given moment … it still involves a bit of luck for us to locate the guy involved,” the statement read.

Brian, who said he found out the man’s name and address on his own, was not impressed with this response from police.

“I hate to say it, but I think it’s a line from them,” Brian said. “And it’s unfortunate because I think that they could’ve had this guy by now.”

He pointed out that some of the neighbors are elderly, live alone, and have disabilities. In particular, Brian said, the stalker seems to get joy out of scaring females.

“He’s targeting women. It’s disgusting,” Brian said. “It’s absolutely vile that the police have not picked up on this and said, ‘This guy truly is a threat’ … I’m scared for the women in that neighborhood.'”

With a man who appears to be mentally unstable sneaking onto people’s property, Brian is worried that the situation will turn fatal before law enforcement pays attention.

“My fear is that this is going to take somebody getting injured, or even killed, before somebody truly responds to this guy, and he thinks this is a joke … what is he going to do next, and at that point, do we get some attention?” Brian said. “I don’t think it should go that far.”

Brian told Dori that if he hadn’t encouraged him to back off from finding the stalker on Thursday, the squatter would have been stopped by now.

“Had you not stopped me the other day, I would have had this guy by now,” Brian said.

*Last name and neighborhood have been left out for personal safety. 

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