Burglar accused of moving into Memphis home while owner was away

Posted at 9:07 AM, Apr 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-18 09:07:29-04

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A Memphis man is charged with aggravated burglary after police say he broke into someone’s house while they were away and started living in it.

Rachel Rodriguez said she thought the man she’d been waving to at a nearby house on Coleman Avenue was her new neighbor. She said she’d often see him sitting on the porch.

But police say it turns out the man, James Brown, had broken in and unlawfully moved in.

“I’m really surprised. I’ve known that house has been vacant more or less as long as I’ve lived here, four or five years.”

Police say the actual homeowner went on a road trip and came back to find Brown living there with his car in the driveway.

The victim said several of his belongings from inside the house were also in the car.

Brown, 61, was arrested and charged with aggravated burglary.

“I’m not surprised because that house down there has been weird for years," said another neighbor.

Neighbors said the house has mainly been vacant in their time living there.

“It’s one of those things where you just don’t see the people.”

They told us they don’t expect anything like that to happen to them since they regularly talk to one another.

“We know each other," said Rodriguez. "If we’re going out of town, we’ll ask someone to look out for our house and things like that.”

Brown was given a $50,000 bail and is scheduled to be back in court next week.