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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2019

    Default Breaking and Entering by a Neighbor

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Florida: Unlawful breaking and entering.
    This situation will require a lengthy explanation and I state up front it is a bizarre situation. I will try to be concise. We are seasonal residents who own a condo in Florida. The subject of this post lives in an adjoining unit with a firewall existing in the attic between the two units. Subject exhibits bizarre behavior. Without provocation he has accused us as well as other residents of stealing from him and spying on him, states the FBI and various other law enforcement agencies are out to get him. He states he sees and talks to dead people. This is only a small sample of his psychotic behavior.

    The electrical meter to our unit was stolen on September 12 according to the energy dashboard records. This was discovered when our maintenance man was in our unit to replace water damaged drywall. The subject quickly appeared at our door, confronting the super and saying he was spying on him and stealing from him. The meter was replaced by FPL and power was restored. The subsequent morning, the maintenance man was again in our condo to work on the drywall and the power was again off. He discovered it had been turned off at the main breaker switch on the outside of the building, this just outside the end unit where the subject dwells which he can access without being seen. A lock was put on the box. The next morning the lock was broken, the box breached and the power was again turned off. We requested the sheriff investigate. During the investigation, subject came out yelling at the deputies that he knew all about what they were doing, that they were spying on him. Circumstantial evidence included the fact that the subject had begun wearing pennies in his ears and one of them was lying on the ground beneath the breaker box and absent from his ear. It was clear he was responsible for the vandalism and theft however there was no further action taken due to lack of witnesses. Due to the length of time the power was off, food stuffs left in the freezer had spoiled. The maintenance super cleaned out both the refrigerator and freezer, telling us there was spoiled food items in the refrigerator. We had completely removed all perishables from the refrigerator prior to our seasonal departure before all this happened. When we returned for the season, we found little things that indicated unauthorized entry such as an unlocked door, a discharged aerosol canister in a closet and a faucet that had been loosened causing it to leak. Again, we could not prove entry nor any perpetrating party. Furthermore, the hurricane shutters to our back window had been stolen, this after the subject was remanded for having shutters up, something that is prohibited if the residence is occupied.

    The day before we again left for the season a little over a week ago, we were urged by the association's personnel to inspect the firewall between our side and the subjects side. We discovered the firewall between the two units had been breached in a 4 x 8 section. The sheetrock on our side was left lying atop plastic bags that we had left there after insulating the attic. New (not matching) sheetrock had been nailed over the opening from the other side. No one but the subject had access to the attic during the period of time in question. Piecing all the evidence together, it has become clear he was occupying our unit and had left foodstuffs in our refrigerator while we were absent sometime between April and October 2018. Unfortunately, all this has come together just as we were departing to return to our main residence. The deputy we consulted at the sheriff's office was of the opinion nothing could be done. He advised us we could have a deputy dispatched to the scene to investigate but beyond that it wouldn't go anywhere. When personnel from the condo association inspected the damage to our attic, the subject banged on our front door with the pretense of asking a question on an unrelated matter.

    We've put up security cameras, braced the attic stairs, rekeyed all locks, and emptied the refrigerator/freezer. We've succinctly documented all this for the condo association. The malicious behavior continues in our absence. Our security camera has caught the subject laughing at it, scoffing at it and allowing his dog to eliminate on our landscaping, saying "No one's here, why not?"

    Now to the question: Should we further pursue an investigation or simply let it go? What else can be done? This man is on the title for the condo or he'd have been evicted long ago according to association authorities. What are our rights? Can the Baker Act be initiated? Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Breaking and Entering

    The solution is to sell your condo. Price it low enough to make it irresistible to an investor or flipper despite the loony neighbor.

    I'm serious.

    I had a similar situation with a lunatic neighbor. Took me 11 years to finally understand that he was going to outlive and outlast me. I sold and never looked back.

    You'll never win against a lunatic.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2019

    Default Re: Breaking and Entering

    thanks. beginning to think so. might look into involuntary committal as we are getting enough video evidence to show he is a menace.

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