Monday, October 13, 2014
One simple paper is all it takes to steal someone's property
Eyewitness News explains how easy it is to steal someone's property.
And the NY Post has this:
A Manhattan woman claims an ex-con stole her family home in Queens by filing a phony deed with the city and moving in.
Now Jennifer Merin is battling in court to remove the convicted armed robber, Darrell Beatty, 49, and his sons, Darrell Kash Beatty, 25, and DeShaun Beatty, 22, from the three-bedroom Tudor she says they snatched in February.
“It just devastates me,” Merin, an online film critic, said as she looked at cherished family heirlooms — photos, a circa-1920 bed frame, vintage suitcases, classic television sets, a smashed 6-foot vase — piled like trash in the garage of the Laurelton home.
Merin said her Russian and Ukrainian grandparents moved into the new row house on 141st Avenue in 1931 and raised her mother and her mother’s two siblings there.
The family filled the home with treasures from around the world. She inherited it several decades ago after her mother died.
“The house was maintained basically as a sanctuary to my family,” said Merin, who paid insurance, taxes and utility bills on the property and would visit every few months.
She never rented it, and kept her 1992 Subaru Outback parked there, she said.
A spike in her February water bill, which she got on May 27, first alerted her to illegal occupants. She called 911, but when cops went to the house, Beatty told them he was the legal resident.
She went to investigate herself and was “horrified” to find the locks changed and her car missing. Peering through the windows, she saw most of her possessions were also gone.
She called cops again. But with no one answering the door, they advised Merin to take the matter to court.
Merin contacted the Finance Department, which oversees the city register. Officials confirmed the 2013 deed transfer was fraudulent and updated the deed with Merin’s name on June 4.
A Finance source said that the case is being jointly investigated by the Queens District Attorney’s Office and the city sheriff and that it “could be part of a larger ring” of deed scammers.