A resident at 710 block of 3rd avenue who reported an alleged burglary last week discovered that the missing possessions had been removed from the residence by her landlord over the weekend because she had fallen behind on rent payments.
According to police reports, the woman acknowledged that she was late on her rent payment.
The woman's landlord told officers that he had cleaned out the residence because “it had been abandoned.” The man said he had not seen the woman in over a month, and that she was a month and a half late on her rent. The man said he didn’t mind giving back some of her clothing, but that he intended to hold on to the rest of the items until the woman caught up on her late portion of the rent, or he would sell them to recoup his losses.
The officer advised that the matter was a civil matter and the landlord needed to return the items.
The landlord contended that he had a right to hold the property based on a state statute regarding property left on the premises after terminating a lease. The officer informed the man that the woman had not terminated the lease, nor had she been evicted, and that he was incorrect in holding her property.
According to the report, the man insisted that he was lawfully holding the property and refused to give it back. The officer then informed him that he would be chaged as the offender in a residential burglary, to which the landlord reportedly replied, “Go ahead and do what you need to do.” The officer then attempted to contact the woman to inform her of the status of the situation, but she did not answer phone calls.
After reviewing the case with prosecutors on Tuesday, it was decided that the incident is a civil matter and no criminal charges would be filed. The case was “closed by other means.”
The woman was contacted and advised that she was responsible for the resolution of the issue with her landlord, or she could take the matter to civil court.