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Mesquite, Texas News

Mesquite Police Issue Review Findings on Homeowner Squatter Complaint

The Mesquite Police Department has reviewed the incident regarding Terri Boyette’s residence being brought to light during a Texas State Committee hearing. After review, it has been determined that Mesquite Police responded to four calls for service at this residence prior to having any knowledge that there was a potential burglary or “squatter” situation. The initial three calls were not in any way related to a burglary or squatting call.

On March 1, 2024, Mesquite Police received the first call that there was a potential squatter at the location. This was called in by an anonymous person, who believed the homeowner was deceased, and did not wish to be contacted by officers. Officers arrived on scene and contacted Shane Chambers. It was determined through a search of our police database that Chambers had been contacted previously at the residence six months prior.

In response to Ms. Boyette’s claims that she contacted Mesquite Police in 2023, the Mesquite Police Department conducted a thorough search of phone records and reports and could not locate records of Boyette contacting the Mesquite Police Department regarding a squatting issue or someone living in her house illegally. The first call reported by Ms. Boyette occurred on March 20, 2024.

According to the paperwork filed with the Justice of the Peace office, Texas Eviction (Boyette’s agent filing the eviction) stated she and Chambers had a landlord / tenant relationship based on an oral agreement. The listed grounds for the eviction was holding over. According to the paperwork, Chambers did not appear for court, and Boyette was granted possession of the property.

On March 20, 2024, Mesquite Police responded to the residence and learned that Chambers was evicted from the residence by the Dallas County Constables and his belongings had been placed outside the residence. Boyette, at this time told officers items of hers were stolen from the location and a report was taken. Chambers was contacted this date and instructed to stay away from the house.

On April 4, 2024, in the early morning hours, Mesquite Police responded to Boyette’s residence after a neighbor called in advising they heard banging at the vacant house. Officers contacted Shane Chambers at the residence and arrested him for Criminal Trespass.

On May 3, 2024, after an investigation, Mesquite Police detectives issued a warrant for Chambers for Burglary of a Habitation for the initial offense reported on March 20, 2024. The detective also contacted Boyette notifying her of the update.

The Mesquite Police Department and other law enforcement agencies constantly exercise caution when investigating property claims because many disputes fall under civil law, especially those related to evictions. In such cases, the police role is to primarily maintain peace and order, rather than to arbitrate property disputes. It is the stance of the Mesquite Police Department that all calls regarding Boyette’s residence have been handled appropriately and professionally, with due regard for existing state law. The Mesquite Police department is committed to protecting our citizens and their property. We look forward to partnering with state legislators to recommend and provide input on ways legislation could enhance and protect citizen’s property rights.

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