Couple with 5 kids accused of squatting on Hesperia property

HESPERIA, Calif. (KABC) -- A family of seven in Hesperia claims they paid thousands of dollars to rent a house, only to be thrown out by police who say they were squatting on the property. Now, the person they rented from is nowhere to be found.

From the outside, the house on Kern Avenue doesn't look like a place fit for living. It even has signs posted warning people not to enter. But Deanna Avanzolini says her friends had agreed to live there.

"They found it over the Internet, and they paid the guy $2,700," said Avanzolini.

Avanzolini says she was stunned when police showed up a couple of weeks later and asked the family to leave.

"If in the morning, they were not out of here, they were going to take them to jail and take their kids to CPS," said Avanzolini.

A realtor familiar with the place says the family actually broke into the house and they were squatters. The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department says the family could not produce evidence that they had ever paid anyone a deposit.

"There was no rental agreement. There was no copy of a canceled check or confirmation of a money order," said Jodi Miller with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Avanzolini says she doesn't believe the family made up the story.

"They have five kids and one on the way. There's no way that they are going to make something like that up," Avanzolini said.

Neighbor Doug Marshall says regardless of what really happened, he feels sorry for the five kids.

"When the kids are involved, they have to have a place to stay. I mean, they're just along for the ride," said Marshall. "Some people take advantage of people and do that kind of thing, so it could happen. But they could be squatting, too. I don't know."

Eyewitness News tried to reach out to the family, but we were unsuccessful. It's unclear if they will face any charges. The investigation is continuing.

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hesperiarental scams
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