ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Police say 35-year-old Shaun Anaya runs a company that puts people into a home for cheap. The problem is they're not his homes to rent out.
"I came over to the house a couple nights ago to retrieve a couple items and saw the locks had been changed," said homeowner Gabriel Martinez.
He knew the bank didn't change the locks because he was still making payments on the home. Martinez asked his neighbor to check on the house he was trying to sell. He told the neighbor if he saw anything suspicious, to call police.
The neighbor did some investigating and soon saw a man coming out the front door.
"I said, 'why are you fixing the heater?' and he said, 'for the new renters that are moving in.' There shouldn't be anyone moving in this, it's my friends house," said neighbor Florencio Pacheco.
Pacheco said the man was friendly, but he still called police.
Police say Shaun Anaya was the man at the residence and he's a conman they've been trying to catch for at least a month. Police say say Anaya, under the guise of "Olive Tree Property Management," breaks into foreclosed and unused houses, and charges people to live there, pocketing the cash.
Police say Anaya is involved in at least 20 cases, pulling scams on regular people looking for a place to live.
"There's other cases we're dealing with in the same manner, with Mr. Anaya as the main suspect. In fact, I think there is one case in the District Attorney's Office facing indictment," said Officer Robert Gibbs of Albuquerque Police.
A single mother and her kids were in the process of moving into the house owned by Gabriel Martinez, paying Anaya $1,800.
Martinez has agreed to let her stay at the home thru the winter.
"Unsuspecting lady, trying to find a place to keep her kids warm, and I told her she's more than welcome to stay here if she needs to," said Martinez.
Martinez says everything worth anything was taken from his home: leather sofas, and electronics.
For now, Anaya is charged with breaking and entering, fraud, and conspiracy.
According to online court records, Shaun Anaya is no stranger to police with arrests over the years for drugs, battery, forgery and fraud.
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