DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – A man has been arrested for allegedly living in a million dollar home he apparently doesn’t own, nor does he have a lease.

The home was one of many featured in a series of reports by 4 On Your Side Investigator Rick Sallinger in which abandoned houses have been taken over. It appears to be part of a much larger picture in which people are identifying homes under foreclosure, breaking in, and filing paper work claiming they own the homes.

Sergio Hernandez did not know what was coming next when he arrived at the courthouse. He has been living for months with his family in a million dollar house in the exclusive Bell Mountain Ranch area. Nobody legally sold or leased him the home — the family just moved in.

The same thing happened nearby at a home in Larkspur. Real estate agent Mark Sawyer was trying to sell the home when he found people living inside.

“These people claimed that they owned the property,” Sawyer said.

Sawyer said they claimed they owned the property under a law called “adverse possession.”

CBS4 found more than a dozen homes under foreclosure that have been taken over by people claiming they legally have rights to them under adverse possession. But in Colorado that means holding on to abandoned property for at least 18 years.

Hernandez had put his name on the home that had been subject to a short sale and later foreclosure. But instead of going to just a routine court appearance, he was placed under arrest. Douglas County sheriff’s deputies placed him in handcuffs on charges of burglary, attempted theft, trespassing and violation of a previous bail bond conditions.

“He’s getting what’s coming to him. They’re breaking into houses, taking possession illegally, and depriving owners of records of their right to quiet enjoyment of their home,” Sawyer said.

RELATED STORY: Scheme To Steal Homes Far Reaching Across Colorado Communities

Court documents claim Hernandez told sheriff’s investigators “the issue with the property is bigger than either of us and involves corruption with the banks on a national level.”

It is an issue he may now have the chance to take up in court.

The million dollar house he has been living in still has $88,000 of property belonging to the previous owner.

Hernandez had earlier been arrested in connection with the home in Larkspur in this report.

Comments (5)
  1. happyday says:

    Hey man, go for it! The banks are corrupt, to say the least and you might as well live for free for a few months. You should have been smarter though and moved out before Douglas County arrested you. LMAO!

  2. the_punnisher says:

    The real problem is that MEXICO and Los Angeles schools systems TEACH THAT THE SOUTHWEST WAS STOLEN FROM MEXICO!!

    Our ENTITLEMENT society under an ENTITLEMENT PRESIDENT has many people ( including illegals ) justifying the SQUATTERS and squatters claim ” adverse possession ” when caught. When you have more TAKER and FAKERS than MAKERS, the TAKERS and FAKERS do anything they can to justify their illegal behavior.

  3. Stay out of Larkspur says:

    These guys are still in the Larkspur house shown in the video. Can you say squatters!

  4. USA taxpayer and homeowner says:

    I’d call them crooks. More deadbeats wanting the people that work hard and pay their taxes to pick up their tab. Get them the heck out of there law enforcement and quit letting these people squat in our neighborhoods.

    1. Ignorance is bliss says:

      Everybody in here should look up the laws before you comment. Key words foreclosure. When a bank forecloses that person is no longer that homeowners house. . Now the banks can’t prove original title deed. Looks like banks have been taking advantage of hardworking Americans from the get go. Something bigger that you narrow minded social slaves can’t see. Law enforcement can’t do anything in a civil matter. If they did that would be harassment. Your not a homeowner because the home you live in was never yours. And you don’t even know your rights.

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