An alleged squatter in Arizona was arrested after illegally moving into a dead man’s home and selling the man’s SUV, a local sheriff’s office said.
The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said they arrested Michael Macinnis, 45, on Jan. 3 on multiple felony charges, including allegedly selling a dead man’s 2005 Chevy Tahoe by forging documents to make it appear he was the legal owner.
Investigators said that Macinnis illegally moved into the unidentified dead man’s Cordes Lakes home in May 2023 and had been “squatting” in the home while allegedly forging car documents “to make it appear he was the estate’s personal representative,” the sheriff’s office said in a Thursday press release. The legal homeowner had died “some months before” Macinnis allegedly moved in, authorities said.
Macinnis is accused of forging documents to sell the Tahoe to a resident of Flagstaff, located roughly 80 miles north of Cordes Lakes.
Authorities said Macinnis resisted arrested on Jan. 3, “including slamming a metal door on a deputy’s wrist” and reportedly swallowing dozens of fentanyl pills.
“They were finally able to take him into custody and were told he had perhaps swallowed up to 40 fentanyl pills prior to his arrest, and then had purged his stomach of the drugs. Deputies say on the way to jail he was increasingly incoherent and drowsy, was administered NarCan by jail medical staff, and then taken by ambulance to the hospital,” the sheriff’s office wrote in its press release.
He was later released from the hospital and charged with nine felonies, such as aggravated assault on law enforcement and charges related to the forgery and fraud allegations.
Squatter incidents have cropped up across the US – and around the world – in recent years, with suspects typically targeting homes where the rightful owners are away for extended periods of time, such as vacation homes or rentals.
Properties belonging to deceased individuals have also been targeted by suspected squatters, reports show.
Last year, police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, arrested alleged squatters who moved into a house where the homeowner and tenant had recently died.
In Las Vegas in 2021, police made a disturbing discovery at a private property: the remains of the elderly female homeowner in a shallow grave.
Police said squatters reportedly moved into the home, found the woman’s body, dismembered and buried the woman, and continued living in the home.