A family returning home from holiday travel got an unwanted surprise as they tried to open the door to their house: Their key wouldn’t work, and a man inside told them he now owned the home.
Janice Henson said the man, who she said had changed the locks, told her he had a gun and wanted her to leave her Cobb County, Georgia, home, Atlanta’s WSB-TV reports.
When police arrived on scene during the bizarre Wednesday encounter, the man later identified as 26-year-old Nathaniel Jacob Nuckols allegedly also told police he would shoot them, the station reports.
After a five-hour standoff, police and SWAT officers busted through the front door of the house and used a robot to locate the accused squatter, who then surrendered, according to WSB-TV. A weapon was not found.
“He also left us notes thanking us for the key and thanking us for letting him live here, and it was his house now,” Henson told WSB-TV. “He moved all the pictures, emptied drawers. He was making this house his.”
Nuckols was booked for first-degree burglary, terroristic threats and acts, and willful obstruction of a law enforcement officer, according to jail records. He did not have an attorney listed on file.
In 2017, another Georgia woman was greeted by an unknown family in her home that she had been trying to sell. It appeared a family with two small children had been scammed over Craigslist, believing they were the legal owners of the house.