Squatters Plaguing Foreclosure Neighbors

The latest crime wave to hit Antioch is called cash for keys.

By Cheryl Hurd
|  Thursday, Jan 12, 2012  |  Updated 11:01 AM PDT
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Squatters are moving in on foreclosed homes across the bay area and getting the ultimate deposit from banks.  The phony renters use fake documents to collect

Squatters are moving in on foreclosed homes across the bay area and getting the ultimate deposit from banks. The phony renters use fake documents to collect "cash for keys" from financial institutions. NBC Bay Area's Cheryl Hurd is live in Antioch where some suspects are in police custody.

It's a problem plaguing our country. Squatters moving into foreclosed homes and banks paying them to get out.

It's happening in one Antioch neighborhood. 

Neighbors formed a neighborhood watch program in part because they noticed lots of homes being foreclosed in he area.

They were apparently right to be worried.

Police arrested three people Tuesday on Bedrock Way in Antioch.

Police said the people in the home tried to show them a phoney lease, but they weren't fooled. A following search of the home netted stolen goods and a stolen car.

Authorities believe the people arrested were involved in what is called cash for keys.

That's when criminals move into foreclosed homes and banks end up paying them thousands of dollars to move out.

"I think most of the bank agents know that these folks shouldn’t be there it’s easier just to pay them get them out and everything’s left there," Capt. Leonard Orman with Antioch police said.

Orman said cash for keys happens all the time in his city where there are hundreds of bank owned homes nestled in nice neighborhoods.

If you suspect someone is squatting or living illegally in a home in your neighborhood, contact your local police department.

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