How a California Handyman Outsmarted Squatters Who Took Over His Mother’s House

Flash Shelton, from Simi Valley, Calif., found a way to outsmart the squatters who had taken over his mother’s house by taking advantage of a legal loophole. He had already exhausted the use of local law enforcement, who were of no avail. After spending a weekend dissecting the laws, Shelton figured out that until there’s civil action, squatters have no rights. That’s when he decided to switch places with them and become the squatter himself. He packed up his jeep and drove to his mother’s house. He arrived about 4 a.m. and waited. About 8:00 a.m., three cars pulled out of the driveway, and that’s when Shelton went into the house and put up surveillance cameras. Then he waited for the squatters to return. When they finally arrived, Shelton informed them that the house was locked up, surveillance cameras were installed, and the only way they would get back in is if they broke into the house — and that would be captured on camera. “I told them if they broke in, I would prosecute,” said Shelton. He gave the squatters one day to pack up their stuff and leave, which they did. Shelton said he doesn’t suggest that other people do what he did, but at some point homeowners have to begin standing up to squatters, especially since it seems that law enforcement's hands are tied.