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Two Arrested After Taking Up Residence in Bank Owned Home

prescott policeSedona AZ (April 12, 2016) – On March 1, 2016, the Prescott Police Department began an investigation into suspicious activity occurring at a home in the 2100 block of Chickadee Creek Place, Prescott, Arizona. Officers and Detectives learned that two subjects, later identified as Randall Skates, 37, and Jennifer Skates, 45, had been occupying a home foreclosed upon in late 2015. The bank owned property had been listed for sale for approximately $900,000.00.

The investigation revealed that the Skates’ ascribe to a set of beliefs often described as the “Sovereign Citizen Movement.” In this case, the Skates’ learned that the home was bank owned and unoccupied. They entered the home, claiming it as their own under the belief that banks are not people and, therefore, have no actual right to real property. The Skates’ filed a deed for the property which did not in any way make the property legally theirs; however, they claimed a right to occupy, improve and cultivate the land where the home was located. The couple had posted signs on the windows of the home indicating their right to be at the home and their willingness to defend the property.  Witnesses also reported seeing what they believed to be armed men, often patrolling the property. The Skates’ recently advertised rooms for rent at the home and at least one individual rented a room from them.

Arrest warrants were obtained for both Randall and Jennifer Skates, and on April 12, 2016, both were taken into custody while meeting with case agents at the Prescott Police Department. Based on the evidence located at the home and information provided by witnesses, Detectives were also able to obtain a search warrant for the home. On April 12, 2016, at approximately 11:00 in the morning, Detectives with the Prescott Police Department assisted by the Prescott Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWATT) served a search warrant at the residence. An 18 year old Prescott woman and her four month old child were located inside the home. It is believed that she had rented a room from the Skates’ and was unaware of their illegal occupancy at the home.

Randall and Jennifer Skates were booked into the Yavapai County Jail for charges including burglary, theft, and criminal trespass.

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1 Comment

  1. Gene says:

    Americans’ life savings disappear from Mexican bank accounts http://a.msn.com/00/en-us/AABNfHw?ocid=st

    Guess it’s the same everywhere when dealing with banks. Learn to check your daily activity. Don’t put your money out of the country or in countries that are run by gangbangers. Simple enough rules to live by, eh?

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