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L.A. councilman says 'squatter' moved into house, cut clothes, burned books in fireplace

L.A. City Councilman Richard Alarcon, under investigation over questions about his residency, said today that he has not been living in a house in his district for nearly three months because of safety concerns prompted by a burglary at that address.

Alarcon said that in late October a mentally ill man broke into his house, changed the locks on at least three doors and destroyed his possessions, including many of his clothes. “We haven’t been there since then, that’s for sure,” he said.

Alarcon said the situation does not affect the legality of his residency in the district. He said the man was in his house for less than 48 hours. “He cut up some of our clothing. He was burning books in the fireplace,” the councilman said. “I think he intended to be a squatter but he didn’t have time.”

Investigators served search warrants at both houses -- one in Panorama City, the other in Sun Valley -- earlier this week. Alarcon said that he could have stayed in a hotel in the wake of the burglary but chose the Sun Valley house instead. Both homes are owned by Alarcon’s wife, Flora Montes de Oca.

The councilman, who represents part of the San Fernando Valley, said he has been living in a house in Sun Valley in the 2nd District represented by Councilman Paul Krekorian since that incident occurred. Repairs are being made to the house in Panorama City that he claims as his “domicile” in his 7th Council District.
Alarcon said he could not remember where he was at the time of the break-in. Los Angeles Police Department officers broke down the door to arrest the man, he said.

“I’ve been making repairs to make it a safe home. I’m not going to move my baby into an unsafe home,” added Alarcon, whose wife gave birth to a daughter nearly two years ago.

Alarcon’s neighbors, including a man living in a camper on the block told The Times  on Thursday that they had not seen anyone recently in the Panorama City home, a 1950 tract house on Nordhoff Street. One said no one had been living in the Panorama City home for three years.

Scott Folden, who lives across the street and is involved in Neighborhood Watch, said that the day after the burglary, a pile of clothes, family pictures and bank records appeared on the curb outside Alarcon’s house. Folden said he also saw small appliances and furniture items in the pile.

-- David Zahniser and Maeve Reston
Comments () | Archives (41)

If anyone believes this, I have some swampland in Florida to send you.......bet there are no police reports whatsoever on the so-called "break-in" because it never happened. What a colossal liar Alarcon is ....

If you had been actually living there, it would have been more difficult for the guy to get in and burn books and destroy clothes and hang around for a couple days.

If you had been actually living there, the home wouldn't have appeared vacant and inviting to people looking for a place to squat.

Liar liar pants on fire!!!!!!!!!

Stop electing criminals to City Council!!!

Squatters move into vacant houses. They are usually high target if sitting unoccupied, which is why neighbors get upset to see no one policing their home as it opens them up to crime. I think the public is tired of excuses from the politicans these days-actions have consequences.

So, for 48 hours a squatter moved into the house Alarcon was living? Didn't he notice? Or were he and his family not living in that house, enabling a squatter to case the place and decide it was safe to enter unnoticed?

Squatters don't break into occupied homes.

Haha...Alarcon is funny. He keeps searching for excuses, first it was a squatter, now it's that the house is under repairs to make it safe....for TWO YEARS.

Gee, I don't know what Alarcon is doing to a 1950s tract home, but I'm pretty sure land use forbids creating a moat around the house.

Unless of course Alarcon can quietly introduce and easement for his property. What Planning official can say no to a sitting Councilman?

from yesterday's news item on this story:

Shortly after 11 a.m., Alarcon told The Times that he planned to “make it very clear” to investigators that he resides in the house in Panorama City.

Today he says "I'm not going to move my baby into an unsafe home" - said home being the Panorama City house in which he already claims to reside.

It's pretty evident that this guy is trying to have it both ways. I hope they throw the book at him.

Alarcon is just digging himself into a deeper and deeper hole.

Another politician using his baby as a shield to cover up his crimes.


Another dishonest council member. When will the public learn and when will there is consequences?????? This is not the first time and it will not be the last. How sad for our citizens

Wow, what a liar.

If a mentally disturbed man can change the locks and trash the place in 48 hours, how long would it take to clean the place up and change them back? You want it safe for the baby? I'm sure any alarm company would be happy to have some high tech gadgetry installed within a week, especially for a councilman in distress.

And where were you during the 48 hours when this was going on Richard? Why don't your neighbors remember you?

This is rich!, now it's the BOOGEYMAN he's afraid of! So first he tries to ask another council member to redraw their district so his OTHER home will be included, as part of that he tries to get laws changed so that his wife can redevelop land without losing some of it to the city, none of that works so now he's trying to say it takes 2 YEARS to get a house repaired and rendered safe? I've worked on MANSIONS built from scratch that took less time, this is a few locks doors and a call to ADT for crying out loud, maybe another part of this story is it's taking so long because he's still trying to find a way for the lowly taxpayer to foot the bill. Oh, I'm sorry did I hit a button?

WOW we tax payers better be ware of a tax hike or a congressional pay raise we cant have a sitting congressman with an unsafe house the man probly makes 100 grand or more a year while we who pay his morgage are getting layed off every day YEAH GOVERNMENT

Richard Alarcon makes me sick. He has been lying and wasting tax payer money for years. Fox network exposed his wasteful spending habits almost a decade ago. I can't believe this guy is still a councilman. It's time for people in San Fernando Valley to wake up and get this guy out of office.

Please, do it!!

I'm certain the DA investigators will be checking utility bills. Check the averages for water/gas/electricity/phone etc. Alarcon is just another deadbeat carpetbagger.

Alarcon should be arrested for stupidity, if he thinks that anyone would believe that dumb excuse.

LA City Council members used to have alarm systems installed that went directly to their local LAPD station. Which house has the alarm?

Is this guy serious?
It's obvious that he's getting advice on how to handle this from Antonio.

You have got to be kidding me. This reads like a really bad screenplay.

Ha! That's one of the lamest excuses. The only way a squatter can set up shop in someone's home including NEW locks is if NO ONE lives here in the first place! He just confirmed the truth of what the D.A. was investigating!

Alarcon is not evensmart enough to have a half-way reasonable story about his living arrangements. How do his constituents keep voting for him?

Ha! That's one of the lamest excuses. The only way a squatter can set up shop in someone's home including NEW locks is if NO ONE lives here in the first place! He just confirmed the truth of what the D.A. was investigating!

Alarcon is not evensmart enough to have a half-way reasonable story about his living arrangements. How do his constituents keep voting for him?

As a Baptist Christian, I am going to diligently pray for Alarcon, his wife, and two-year-old baby... because don't you just hate it when a mentally ill man randomly breaks into your not-lived-in-for three years house, changes the locks on at least three doors(!) and destroys your possessions, including many of your clothes!

I'm also going to pray that the voters in his district give him a swift kick out of office and elect someone in whom the Lord has put skill and understanding on how to be HONEST when you're caught living a LIE!

In Jesus' name, Amen.

This clown was not the sharpest tool as a City clerk and he has not become any brighter.

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