UPDATED: Newport Coast Squatters Featured in OC Weekly Get Arrested

ChrisDuncanarrested.jpg
The Real Squatters of OC: busted
​Christopher and Robin Duncan, the subjects of an exclusive November OC Weekly cover story, must have had the shock of their lives today.

Newport Beach Police Department detectives slapped handcuffs on the couple and hauled them to jail after the Orange County district attorney's office filed criminal charges against them for illegally squatting in a $2.6 million, ocean-view Newport Coast home.

During an interview for my article, the Duncans admitted they'd entered the house at 10 Hidden Pass--not far from the estate of Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant--changed the locks and put the utilities in their names, even though they did not own the property or have the owner's consent. 

Squatters have taken over houses throughout less affluent areas of Orange County in dismal economic times, but invading a home in an exclusive, gated community with views of the Pacific Ocean seems to be a relatively new trend. 

You can bet actual property owners in the Newport Coast neighborhood weren't pleased.

Chris Duncan booking photo.jpg
Chris Wayne Duncan
​Yet the Duncans confidently told me they were immune to both civil and criminal liability because the house, which was heading to foreclosure, had been unoccupied.

They said squatting implied something unethical or illegal, and they insisted they'd done nothing wrong. 

Obviously, detectives at the Newport Beach Police Department and Senior Deputy District Attorney Peter Pierce, who is handling the case in the DA's Major Fraud unit, think differently. They say the couple concocted a fake lease for the property as a way to dupe law enforcement into inaction.

But the scheme didn't work; the Duncans now face two felony charges each--second-degree burglary and conspiracy--and misdemeanor charges of trespassing. 

They were booked into Orange County Jail this afternoon and must each pay $25,000 in bail to leave confinement.

If convicted, the Duncans face a maximum punishment of three years in a California prison, according to Farrah Emami, spokeswoman for the DA's office.

Robin Duncan booking photo.jpg
Robin Ann Duncan
​The Duncans, who took over the Newport Coast property in mid-September and refused to leave, had used Kelly Scott Johnson, a Newport Beach lawyer, to threaten a lawsuit against homeowners'-association officials because they declined to grant the couple gate entrance and exit privileges. 

Without being able to use the main gate, which is manned 24 hours per day, Chris Duncan told me, he and his wife were "prisoners in our own home."

Local law enforcement has made it clear with today's action that squatters can't be so arrogant in the future.

--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
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houses for sale westminster

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msjenn2
msjenn2

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Orange county homes
Orange county homes

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Irvine Homes
Irvine Homes

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Homes in orange county
Homes in orange county

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Orange county property
Orange county property

 Nice post. I loved it. Thanks for sharing.

Druoster
Druoster

So does anyone know if they are in Jail?

Yamil Matt
Yamil Matt

No they didn't do any time at all, they are still out there somewhere waiting to pounce on the next victim , but i think this next time they will go at it a bit more carefully.

Real estate orange county
Real estate orange county

I don't think the owner took the advatage of the situaion or will be..give people a break! The HOA should have been more careful when letting strangers into the gated community which we paid heavily everymonth to make sure our community is safe!Flag

macdoodle
macdoodle

I remember the Promontory Point story too.what happened then? was it the 80's?

Take Back Our Government
Take Back Our Government

Kelly Scott Johnson, the Newport Beach lawyer who threatened the HOA, is EXACTLY what is wrong with our legal system. SCUMBAGS get represented for FREE by SCUMBAG attorneys who then use lawsuits (or the threat of them) to EXTORT money from law abiding citizens.

Let's start a Tea Party action to take our legal system back from SCUMBAG extortionists attorneys by filing a complaint with the CA State Bar Assn: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Attor...

This will put this SCUMBAG as a defendant... which will be the perfect dose of his own medicine!

gitana1
gitana1

Here we go again with tea baggers who love to EMPHASIZE their uneducated opinions with ALL CAPS to make up for their lack of insight, intellect and education.

Steve
Steve

Since when did the Mexicans join the tea baggers?

VegasGuy
VegasGuy

Now that the house is vacant again, I think I will move from Vegas to Newport. Consider this my first "open and notorious use of the property". See you soon!

Sam
Sam

I'm shocked they haven't cast them in Real Housewives yet!

tonyasmith234
tonyasmith234

The adjustable rate mortgage that I had before had me nearly to the brink of bankruptcy because of the never-ending payment increases. Now I have 3.18% fixed rate. I would absolutely recommend "123 Mortgage Refinance" I worked with to anyone I know planning to refinance mortgage.

Uncommonsense
Uncommonsense

Great! Now, when are they gonna arrest Orly Taitz?

Albert Barlow
Albert Barlow

Now if they'd just arrest and hang the criminal vampire bankers that caused this mess all would be right in the world ( accept Gustavo would probably still have a job reporting on the slaughter here at our beloved rag, and looking for racial angles to exploit ).

Imsureofit
Imsureofit

Criminal vampire bankers?  You're clueless, Albert.  Don't take a loan large enough that you can't afford the payments.  The homeowner still owned the home, the squatters did not own the home therefore had no business there.  Should have given them the max jail  time.  Don't take sh*t that is not yours.  Very simple.  

Clawy
Clawy

I see these kind of people all the time...on Cops, where they get arrested for meth possession. This is the worst kind of trash. Kudos to NBPD for doing the right thing.

Uncle Kit
Uncle Kit

Obviously "jonesing" for something. Perhaps rehab and a job would be in order for the both of them?

guest
guest

Funny you assume that they are just typical white trash when actually Chris comes from quite the contrary.

Dinglebery Hut
Dinglebery Hut

just because he didn't come from "typical white trash" doesn't mean he isn't NOW typical white trash...

Jack123
Jack123

typical OC White Trash...

RobE
RobE

It's about freaking time.

And the lawyer who hit the HOA with the threat of court action in defending squatters should be disbarred for extortion and aiding and abetting a pair of felonies.

NCNeighbor
NCNeighbor

Now the owner is now free to rent out the house again without paying her mortgage. I woul not have a problem with it except that as a tax payer, I have to cover the more than $500,000 the bank has lost over the last two years from this women not paying her mortgage.

NCLA
NCLA

I think the owner trying everything they could to resolve this distress situation and I'm sure this is not a happy situation for them neither, the house been empty for awhile that is why the intruder moved in so I don't think the owner took the advatage of the situaion or will be..give people a break! The HOA should have been more careful when letting strangers into the gated community which we paid heavily everymonth to make sure our community is safe!

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