A family returned from a vacation and could not get inside their home on Jan. 2. Someone had broken in while they were away and changed the locks, the Cobb County Police said in a WSBTV report.
Before they realized someone was inside their Atlanta-area home, the family called a locksmith, according to a next-door neighbor’s account in the Marietta Daily Journal. The neighbor said the locksmith heard something inside.
Janice Henson, a woman who lives at the residence, said she encountered a man who told her to leave because “it was his home now,” per WSBTV.
After the family called the police, the man later identified as Nathaniel Nuckols refused to leave and threatened to shoot the officers, WXIA reported.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Herald Sun
He finally surrendered after an hours-long standoff that involved the SWAT team and armored vehicles and caused the front door to be replaced with a board, per the Marietta Daily Journal.
When she was allowed inside, Henson said all of the food was gone and the squatter had moved pictures, emptied drawers and left a note that thanked the family “for letting him live here, and it was his house now,” according to WSBTV.
Nucklols was taken to the Cobb County Jail, where he was charged with first-degree burglary, terroristic threats and acts, as well as willful obstruction of a law enforcement officer, jail records show.
The 26-year-old Canton resident’s bail was set at $33,220 for the combined charges and fees, and he remains behind bars, according to the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office.