There was that case a month or two ago, some guy moved into a vacant...condo...I thought it was, down in Florida? Something about squatter's rights? But then I thought they'd reported a week or two later they had him out...but when it was 1st reported, it sounded like he was cooking w/gas.
He was able to get away with it for so long because it was a foreclosure and the bank hadn't formally told him that he had to leave so he was claiming squatter's rights and had filed a petition with the court for it, if I remember correctly. The neighbors were not happy and once it finally got news coverage, the bank stepped in and gave him the formal eviction notice. Had that not happened, he could have legally been awarded the property within a certain amount of time.
...aren't hermit burglars them lil things ya can buy at pet shops...the ones with the purty painted shells and whatnot, that the kiddies will scream to have and then let die on one of your heating grates and make your wife go "Lord Jesus, was that YOU or the dog???".....
It fell under the adverse possession rule--one of those quirks in the law that allow people to gain ownership of abandoned property if they maintain it and pay utilities and taxes for a certain number of years--in this case would have been seven. Technically it wasn't abandoned, though, it was vacant because of the foreclosure so he might not have been successful in the long run even if he hadn't been evicted.
How in the heck did this guy survive Maine winters?? If I am out for an hour in winter I am whining!! He's a tough ol' hermit!!
He could have (and probably did) spent the night in the cabins, too, if he didn't have his own place to stay. If they had wood stoves or fireplaces, even better. The guy I'd mentioned from our town had a little shack that he lived in so wasn't exposed to the elements.