Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Oregon Man Given 60-Days Jail/Work Release Sentence For Breaking Into Vacant Home & Using Craigslist To Reel In Unsuspecting Rent-Paying Tenant; Defendant Currently Under Probe In Other Vacant Seattle-Area Home Hijackings Involving Other Renters

In Federal Way, Washington, the Federal Way Mirror reports:
  • An Oregon man was sentenced to 60 days in King County Jail on Oct. 30 after being found guilty of residential burglary and first degree criminal impersonation for renting out a home he did not own in Federal Way.

    Chad Eichenberger, 37, broke into an empty Federal Way home and listed it for rent on Craigslist. He gained access to the home by breaking into the realtor key box and taking the key inside.

    On April 19, police were alerted by the home's owner when he returned to the residence to find the renter moving furniture into the home. Police contacted both men. The owner stated that he was renovating the home in order to sell it. He had placed the locked key box on the front door.

    The renter stated he had agreed to pay Eichenberger $500 a month for rent. He stated that he paid Eichenberger $1,200 to cover the first and last month's rent and part of the security deposit.

    He knew Eichenberger as a landlord named "John."

    The victim gave officers the address that he had met Eichenberger at earlier. When officers arrived at the address, they found another man whom Eichenberger had rented a room out to. The man packed his belongings and left after suspecting the house did not belong to Eichenberger.

    Officers returned to the house later in the day and arrested Eichenberger. He told them that he was hired by banks to maintain houses in foreclosure until the sales were final. He was found in possession of several house keys.

    A week after his arrest, Eichenberger contacted the victim whom he tried to rent the home to in order to try to convince him to drop the charges. The victim, now homeless, called police instead.

    Eichenberger had no prior felony convictions and could have been sentenced to restitution and community service. The prosecuting attorney recommended 30 days in jail, but the judge decided on 60 days of work-release instead. He was credited with serving 18 days at the time of the sentencing. Eichenberger was also ordered to serve 240 hours of community restitution.

    He is currently under investigation for breaking into and renting out other homes in Federal Way and may face additional charges.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home