Pennsylvania man found squatting in Naples home he ‘fell in love with’

Reporter: Lauren Leslie Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

The Naples Police Department says this is a story you just can’t make up. Officers arrested a squatter living in a condemned home in Olde Naples on Wednesday.

Police say Alexander Rowland, 27, of Pennsylvania, casually walked out of the home on 6th Avenue South and he acted as though he belonged there, but he didn’t.

A home watch company found Rowland’s car in the driveway Wednesday, so they called the police.

Rowland told detectives he drove by the house a couple of days back and “fell in love with it.”

“Easy to fall in love with. There’s a lot of homes that you can just simply fall in love with. Unfortunately, if it’s not your home, you’re not allowed to fall in love with it to the point where you break and enter. Oh yeah, he purchased a new door knob. He said he put a new front door on there, built some gardening boxes. This is a good one. We don’t see this every day,” said Lt. Bryan McGinn, with the Naples Police Department.

Neighbors in the area couldn’t believe someone would stay inside a home that was barely standing.

“Why someone would live in a home that could fall on top of them at any moment…It’s, he’s lucky he’s not dead. I mean, you can clearly see there’s barely any support and if the beams aren’t going to kill you, the mold’s going to, so the guy was playing Russian roulette,” said Katie Kensington and Ed Cawley.

Police say there were at least seven “no trespassing” signs posted on the property.

Rowland faces charges of burglary and breaking and entering.

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