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Group in Edmonds attempts to claim rightful ownership of homes

Redfin real estate yard sign is pictured in front of a house for sale on October 31, 2017, in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images for Redfin)

Over the last month, several people in Edmonds and Woodway have received visitors at their door who claim they have rightful ownership of the property.

Sergeant Josh McClure of the Edmonds Police Department joined KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show on Monday, and said these people are a part of the Moorish sovereign citizen movement. They will often hand homeowners false legal documents to try to justify their beliefs.

“Essentially they’re saying ‘we were here first, we decided to leave, we’ve come back, and this is our land. This is our house, and we’re taking it,'” McClure explained.

If there is any resistance to their claims by homeowners, McClure says they will continue to “spew their belief,” but if asked to leave they will comply — especially if they are told law enforcement is coming.

During the most recent incident, Edmonds police made contact with two members of the group, one who had been seen at a couple different locations and issued them criminal trespass notices. Officers made it clear that if they returned, they would be subject to arrest.

He says it appears they are targeting homes that have recently been sold or are in the process of being sold, and that the group may also be looking for unoccupied buildings they could essentially squat in.

“It’s a unique situation,” McClure said. “They’ve been cooperative and compliant and even, in some cases, respectful to our officers, but we don’t think they’re going to go away any time soon in terms of their attempt to do this.”

This group has been around for a few years and has laid claim to other areas within Snohomish County. So far, no one has complied with their demands.

The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report. Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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