Squatting an Increasing Problem in Prince George’s County


Prince George's County Police officers raided a foreclosed mansion in an upscale community Tuesday, where they found a robbery suspect "squatting" with nine others.

The home hasn't been legally occupied for more than four years.

The same home in Tantallon, Maryland was raided several months ago by U.S. marshals, who found a suspect in a D.C. shooting living there, along with a group of squatters. Up to 12 people were living in the home at the time.

Squatting or otherwise interfering with vacant homes is an increasingly common problem in the county.

Earlier this week, a woman was convicted for breaking into a vacant Cheltenham home after the owners moved across the country. The woman, Qiana Johnson, then moved her family into the home, and tried to sue the rightful owners after they disputed forged documents claiming the house was hers.

Authorities say Johnson was a co-conspirator of Shannon Lee, who rented out foreclosed homes she didn't own. Lee was sentenced last year to 20 years in prison, suspend all but six months, with five years of probation.

Prosecutors said Lee broke into as many as nine foreclosed homes, forged deeds and rented them to others.

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