Realtor charged with squatting in vacant townhome

by: Mike Petchenik Updated:

ALPHARETTA, Ga.,None - An Alpharetta Realtor is facing charges after, police say, she moved her family into a townhome that was for sale without the owner’s permission.

Milton police charged Kimberlie Arnold, 37, with burglary and theft of services after the listing Realtor found the mother of three’s belongings inside the home on Fawnvista Lane off Deerfield Parkway.

“I wondered if it had been sold or if they had decided to lease it because it’s been vacant for more than a year,” neighbor Pat Rogers told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik.

Rogers said she saw Arnold being showed the property recently and assumed she’d legitimately moved in with her three sons.

“A very lovely lady,” Arnold said.  “I thought what a nice neighbor we had.  I actually was going to get them a housewarming present.”

A police report Petchenik obtained said Arnold had inquired about renting the property but was rebuffed by the owner. 

Police said that’s when it said she stole a key from the home’s lockbox and moved into the two-story brick townhome where investigators believe she lived for several weeks, rent free and not paying for the utilities.

“If you own a vacant property, go out and check it,” said Capt. Shawn McCarty.  “This is the second time in Milton that we’ve had people taking up residence in for-sale properties.”

The Fulton County jail web site shows Arnold bonded out of jail. 

Petchenik called her home and Arnold’s grandmother told him Arnold would never do something like that. 

Catherine Alphabet told Petchenik that Arnold thought she had an agreement to live in the home and that she was “tricked” by someone into moving there. 

Arnold did not return Petchenik’s call for comment.

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