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Man claiming to be fraud victim arrested for trespassing, refuses to make victim report with PD

Posted at 11:37 PM, Dec 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-19 09:53:44-05

A local man came to NewsChannel 5, saying he was out more than $7,000 after being scammed by someone who he thought was renting a home to him.

Over the weekend, the Ocean Ridge Police Department arrested Michael Gunn for trespassing at the home.

Gunn says he signed a lease agreement on December 1 and paid  $7,200 in cash to move into a half million dollar home along Ocean Avenue. 

“I met him at a bar. Said he was a Realtor. And then I met him at the house. We signed the paperwork and I paid him. He gave me the keys,” Gunn said in an interview. 
 
Reporter: “You met him at the bar, not Craigslist?

Gunn: “Yeah.”

Reporter: “Craigslist or bar?”

Gunn: “Craigslist.”

Reporter: “You just told me the bar a second ago?”
 
Gunn: “Bar, yeah.”

Gunn said he didn’t move in until a couple days ago after he put down a few hundred dollars for the power and water deposit. 
 
“I thought I did everything right,” Gunn said. 
 
Lt. Richard Jones says over the weekend, the home was part of a routine check that Ocean Ridge police does on vacant properties. 

“(The officer) encountered what he thought to be fresh trash and dog feces that he could see inside the residence. That led him to believe that someone was inside the home that shouldn’t be,” Jones said in an interview. 
 
Once officers made their way in, Michael Gunn told them he was leasing the home. 
 
“(The officers) learned from the current owner and the former owner of the property that no one should be inside and no one rented or leased the property,” Jones said. 
 
Gunn was arrested for trespassing. According to state records, Gunn has been arrested 29 times in Palm Beach County, including for trespassing. 

“I have more than one trespassing for different numerous places but that has nothing to do with the problem at hand. I’m not trespassing at 60 Ocean Avenue,” Gunn said. “I’m a victim of fraud, they took my money.”

“It is possible that Mr. Gunn is a victim of fraud, however, when I reached out to him today to try to get him to file a formal complaint with our agency regarding that, he refused,” Jones said. 
 
Reporter: “(Are) you ready to make that report?

Gunn: “Yes sir, I am. How do I do that?”

So we went into the Ocean Ridge police lobby, where he was later taken back to provide that report. 
 
About 20 minutes later, Gunn walked out. 

Reporter: “Can you tell me what happened in there?” 
 
Gunn: “They just pissed me off even more.”
 
Reporter: “So you didn’t file a fraud report?”

Gunn walked away without saying another word. 

Later, police said they had asked for a handwriting sample as part of making a fraud report, which is standard. Initially, Gunn and a woman he was with were cooperative, police said. But they later refused to continue and got up and walked out.