NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An elderly woman from Brooklyn who has lived alone for years suddenly found herself with a roommate. A stranger slipped into her apartment while she was away for the holidays, and made himself right at home.
The freeloader not only broke into 82-year-old Joyce King’s East Flatbush apartment, he moved in, eating in one of her chairs, watching TV, setting up an XBox, all while King was visiting family between Christmas and New Year’s.READ MORE: Judge Lifts Temporary Pause On Vaccine Mandate For NYC Teachers And Other City Workers, Who Now Must Be Vaccinated By Monday
Whoever it was, however, was long gone by the time King returned home from her 10-day visit, leaving her home intact.
“Just as it is, my table, just as it is,” she said. “If I would have met him, I would have screamed, tenants would think I’m crazy.”
King determined that the freeloader entered through the fire escape, breaking her window and slipping past the secured gates. She’s since locked them and the front door.
Neighbors said they heard noises, but assumed it was King.
“Yeah, yeah, he had the XBox in there, wow he was really camping out,” said neighbor Eugene Lyken. “He had his Christmas.”READ MORE: 'I Want A Proper Education': Some NYC Public School Students With Medical Exemptions From In-Person Instruction Feel They're Falling Behind
“He’s crazy, because he didn’t know who he would meet in here,” one neighbor said.
Since the break-in, more neighbors have been looking out for King, and police captured a suspect, a 22-year-old Bronx man, hanging around the building.
Neighbors believe the suspect may have lived in the building at one time, but moved away. He’s facing burglary, trespassing, and drug charges.
King said he’s lucky she didn’t catch him first.
“I would have to beg the Lord to forgive me,” she joked. “Well, I grew up with three brothers, so you had to be tough.”MORE NEWS: Mattress Giveaway In Queens Highlights Depth Of Need That Remains 3 Weeks After Ida
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