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Man charged with breaking into foreclosed Wake Forest home he bought

Posted June 12, 2014

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— A Raleigh man said he plans to sue the Wake Forest Police Department after officers arrested him last month and charged him with trying to break into a house he had just purchased.

Xavier Earquhart received the deed to 928 Coral Bell Drive on May 16 after buying the home at a foreclosure auction and immediately went to the home and started drilling out the lock on the front door to get inside.

"You see someone trying to break into the house, and one of our neighbors called police," neighbor E.J. Stern said.

When officers arrived, an irritated Earquhart ordered them to leave his property and refused to hand over his identification or his copy of the deed to prove his ownership of the house.

"Mr. Earquhart said he was the owner of the property, but when we checked on the register of deeds (website), it did not indicate that he was the rightful owner," said Bill Crabtree, Wake Forest police spokesman. "At that point, with Mr. Earquhart's continued refusal to cooperate, they had no choice but to arrest him."

In addition to breaking and entering, he was charged with possession of burglary tools, injury to personal property and resisting a public officer.

"To say the least, it was very traumatizing," Earquhart said this week. "It shouldn't have happened, to be honest. It just shouldn't have happened."

He acknowledged he could have just handed over his ID and the deed to officers but added, "There's no law stating that I have to do that."

Neighbors said they were concerned upon learning that Earquhart has prior convictions for breaking and entering and larceny. Also, they were stunned when they found out he bought the 2,600-square-foot home for $3,800.

The home has a tax value of more than $330,000.

"I was very surprised that a house in our neighborhood could be purchased at such a price," Stern said.

The Heritage Wake Forest Homeowners Association foreclosed on the home when the previous owners failed to keep up with their monthly HOA dues and auctioned the home to settle its lien.

"Everything that occurred with this house was lawful," Earquhart said, adding that he plans to rent out the home.

A foreclosure attorney not involved with the home said Earquhart might not be able to keep the home, noting the bank that holds the previous owner's mortgage could foreclose on the property if it can't reach an agreement with Earquhart on assuming the mortgage.

Meanwhile, Earquhart has filed a complaint with the Wake Forest Police Department over his arrest.

"This is simply malicious prosecution," he said.

"We don't have any concerns about their behavior whatsoever," Crabtree said of the police officers' actions.

Wake County prosecutors will have to decide whether to pursue or drop the charges against Earquhart.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • lavenderdejectedmoon Jun 13, 2014

    All he had to do was to show the police the paper that read he owned the home.

  • Dave Audette Jun 13, 2014
    user avatar

    According to the story, he just purchased the home. Records are not updated that fast. All he had to do was show the police his ID and deed. He refused, I agree the police did the right thing. This man wanted to cause trouble. If I was breaking into my car because I locked my keys in it and the police saw me doing it I would show ownership and ID to prevent this situation. No different here. This man was looking for an argument that didn't need to happen.

  • hollylama Jun 13, 2014

    Action meet consequence. There's no law stating he has to provide that information but police must enforce the law and by not providing a few documents (pride before the fall) he made himself that much more suspect.

  • davesunc Jun 13, 2014

    The police department ought to counter sue for wasting officers time for childish acts on his part.

  • mikeellisrealty1 Jun 13, 2014

    Lets be logical here, what homeowner wouldn't be happy that there were neighbors looking over their properties. A neighborhood watch program is a great crime deterrent. All Earquhart had to do was show his deed and ID. Seems like he was more interested in creating a stir than protecting his investment.

  • landonsgrampa Jun 13, 2014

    View quoted thread

    But unless you have committed no crime, the police do not have the authority to even speak to you. Just because someone thinks something may be happening, even cops, you can't be bothered. This man did exactly what he should have. Now he will do what he has to.

  • Dale White Jun 13, 2014
    user avatar

    It looks like Earkhart developed an attitude and instead of cooperating with police decided to defy them, thus making the problem worse. He deserved to be arrested.

  • Ben Sanders Jun 13, 2014
    user avatar

    "He acknowledged he could have just handed over his ID and the deed to officers but added, "There's no law stating that I have to do that."

    Actually, there's a supreme court decision that says you do.

  • Dean Beabout Jun 13, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    That's sure what it sounds like to me too.

  • Whiskey4one Jun 13, 2014

    What a dolt. I have no doubt this will turn into a racial issue. I don't care if its the pope, if I see someone drilling the lock out of the house next door, I'm calling the cops.