The Landlord Who Wasn’t There

Last week, a distraught East Knoxville woman called the Knoxville Police Department to report that her vacant property was being occupied by an unknown suspect. When police arrived at the house, the man living there promptly showed officers his identification, a signed lease agreement, and even gave them the name of the real estate agent who had showed him the house, a Mr. D. West. The tenant also produced proof of his having paid three months’ advance rent.

But when the authorities tried to contact Mr. West at his office, they were advised by the real estate company that no such employee had ever been part of their Knoxville branch. And when officers tried to call the number that had been posted on a “For Rent” sign in the front yard of the home, they were unable to reach the mysterious Mr. West. Authorities are still unsure how Mr. West was able to obtain a key to give to his new renter, but the owner of the property suspects that he stole the key out of a back-door lockbox.

No news yet on whether the tenant has been offered a place to stay.

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